No extension to post-Brexit trade deal, Boris Johnson to tell EU Commission President

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to tell European Commission Chief Ursula von der Leyen in London that Britain will not extend its transition out of the EU beyond December 2020, and is not seeking a new relationship based on alignment with existing rules, Reuters reports.

This will be the first meeting between the two since von der Leyen took over as the commission president.

Johnson won an election last month by promising to deliver Brexit on January 31st, and to use an 11-month transition period to negotiate a deal that will define terms between the world’s fifth-largest economy and its biggest trading partner.

A statement from Johnson’s office ahead of the visit said he would “stress the importance of agreeing a confident and positive future relationship by the end of December 2020... The prime minister will likely underline that the upcoming negotiations will be based on an ambitious FTA (Free-Trade Agreement), not on alignment.”

Von der Leyen has previously cast doubt on the chances of concluding such a complicated trade agreement within a relatively short space of time, with similar deals having taken years to thrash out and implement.

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