Europe’s leaders are set to demand that the European Commission publish no-deal plans amid fears that Brexit negotiations are dragging, leaving businesses with little knowledge on what they need to prepare in a worst-case scenario, the Times reported.
“We must now come up with contingency measures. January 1, 2021 is getting close; we need a safety net,” a senior EU diplomat told The Times on Thursday, and added that it is high time to prepare people and businesses in case an agreement cannot be made in time.
The news came few days after EU diplomats warned Britain that time was fast running out for a Brexit deal, and that it may already be too late to ratify one.
A “no deal” finale to the Brexit crisis would be yet another shock for the financial markets amid the economic hit from the coronavirus pandemic. The scenario will disrupt delicate supply chains that stretch across Europe and beyond.
The Times report said an agreement could be finalised as early as Monday.
Reuters had reported that EU trade negotiators will update member states on the latest in trade talks with Britain on Friday.
Reporting by Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Sherry Jacob-Phillips