Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news
- Latest: Consumer price inflation sticks at 1.5%
- Chocolate pushed food prices up, says ONS
- But hotel and tobacco inflation fell
- House price inflation hits seven-year low
- Introduction: Brexit fears are hurting the pound
- Sterling hits two-week low vs euro
- Threat of hard Brexit in December 2020 looms
Wall Street has opened cautiously, as traders await the historic vote on whether to impeach Donald Trump (liveblog here).
A lot of people have been citing December 2020 as the big Brexit deadline. But actually, June could be the real cliff edge date.
That the last date for the UK to request an extension, EU insiders insist. The withdrawal agreement stipulates that the transition can be extended by “one or two years”, but that would probably involve the UK committing more money for the EU budget.
The option to extend the Brexit transition disappears on 1 July 2020, no ifs, no buts: this was the message from the EU’s most senior lawyer to EU27 diplomats at a private meeting on Tuesday.
EU diplomats believe Boris Johnson when he says he doesn’t want to extend the transition period. “It is probably one of the areas where Johnson isn’t lying” quipped one person in the room, a view shared by others.
The European commission told EU27 diplomats they would prepare one comprehensive mandate for future relationship talks, covering all subjects. The mandate is expected early February.
EU27 Brexit working group will meet daily in January to feed into this process.
EU officials all stress time is tight and cliff edge real.
But it won’t be the same cliff edge as before.
Leaving EU w/o withdrawal agreement under A50 is like kicking the table and smashing the crockery. That is because….
Once out of EU w/o A50 the basic elements of WA would have had to be agreed under new legal basis. That would have been time consuming, legal headache, politically toxic.
No-deal with WA in bank is different: EU and UK negotiators can continue talks on 1 Jan 2021…