UK PM sets October 15 deadline for trade deal with EU

16 2019 United Kingdom's Brexit envoy David Frost arrives at EU headquarters in Brussels. Britain’s chief Brexit negotiator Frost is quoted in a newspaper Sunday Sept. 6 2020 saying Britain wants

16 2019 United Kingdom's Brexit envoy David Frost arrives at EU headquarters in Brussels. Britain’s chief Brexit negotiator Frost is quoted in a newspaper Sunday Sept. 6 2020 saying Britain wants

Another EU diplomat, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, echoed that in referring to Britain's divorce deal with the bloc past year: "Without correct implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement, I can not imagine the EU would conclude a treaty with a country that does not abide by its treaty commitments".

In yet another twist to the four-year saga since Britain voted narrowly to quit the EU, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government was reportedly planning new legislation to override parts of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement it signed in January.

The PM's spokesman said: "So we are taking limited and reasonable steps to clarify specific elements of the Northern Ireland protocol in domestic law to remove any ambiguity and to ensure the Government is always able to deliver on its commitments to the people of Northern Ireland".

"It would represent a shocking act of bad faith that would critically undermine the Good Friday Agreement political framework and peace process and the UK's ability to secure other crucial deals to protect the Northern Ireland economy".

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, who played a key role in negotiating the withdrawal agreement and Northern Ireland protocol, said on Twitter that the reported move "would be a very unwise way to proceed".

Brexit deal talks and reactions to Extinction Rebellion protests figure prominently amongst an array of topics on the Monday front pages.

Underlining that the trade agreement can still be reached if the European Union accepts the UK's "reasonable proposal for a standard free trade agreement like the one the European Union has agreed with Canada and so many others".

In a statement on Monday, Johnson gave an EU summit on 15 October as the deadline for an EU-UK trade deal to be agreed in order to be ratified before the UK's transitional period expires at the end of 2020. The pound was down 0.9% against both the dollar and the euro.

The trade discussions have made very little progress over the summer, with the two sides seemingly wide apart on several issues, notably on business regulations, the extent to which the United Kingdom can support certain industries and over the EU's fishing rights access to British waters.

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Johnson did not rule out a deal altogether and vowed to work hard this month to achieve one.

'But we can not and will not compromise on the fundamentals of what it means to be an independent country to get it'.

Brussels has already indicated that mid-October was the latest a deal could be struck, given the need for translation and ratification by the European Parliament.

"I remain anxious. the negotiations are hard, because the British want the best of both worlds", Barnier said on France Inter radio on Monday.

The EU, in turn, accused Britain of failing to negotiate seriously.

"Brexiteers" had promised that securing a deal would be straightforward and rejected criticism that unravelling almost 50 years of ties with Europe would be lengthy and even impossible.

Downing Street has said it does not want talks to drag into the autumn while the European Union wants a deal done by the of October in order to give member states enough time to ratify it before the end of the transition period.

This time was set aside to allow Brussels and Britain to hammer out the terms of their future relationship.

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