İrem UZUN -TDO- The president of the European commission Ursula von der Leyen has said it will be "impossible" for the UK to negotiate a comprehensive deal covering all aspects of Brexit within the timeframe set by Boris Johnson. Speaking on Wednesday before her first face-to-face bilateral meeting with the prime minister in Downing Street, von der Leyen said the price of the clean-break Brexit the prime minister was pursuing was a "distant" partnership with the EU.
Speaking ahead of talks with the PM, Ursula von der Leyen warned it would be "impossible" to reach a comprehensive trade deal by the end of 2020. She said if the deadline was not extended it was not a case of "all or nothing", but of priorities. She said the EU would be open to the idea of establishing a "truly ambitious and comprehensive partnership" with "zero tariffs, zero quotas, zero dumping" that "goes well beyond trade and is unprecedented in scope," covering a range interests, from "climate action to data protection, fisheries to energy, transport to space, financial services to security".
After their meeting in No. 10, a Downing Street spokesman said talks had been "positive", but the PM had been "clear" the process of negotiation would not be extended. Johnson told von der Leyen he "wanted a positive new UK and EU partnership, based on friendly co-operation, our shared history, interests and values", as well as a "broad free trade agreement covering goods and services, and cooperation in other areas". He also said the UK was ready to start negotiations "as soon as possible" after 31 January.