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The Brexit trade deal negotiations

Do you remember the good old days? Only a few months ago, when Brexit negotiations dominated the news agenda, when Theresa May brought her Withdrawal Bill back to Parliament three times, when Teresa May was Prime Minister even and when every vote – in the Commons was crucial?

The UK officially left the EU on 31 January 2020, with a requirement that trade deal negotiations had to be concluded by 31 December 2020, or we leave effectively with No Deal.

We are now in late May 2020 and the trade deal negotiations are still ongoing, despite the Coronavirus lockdown. As things currently stand, if no agreement is reached, the UK will begin trading with the EU on World Trade Organisation rules.

The talks to find an agreement duly resumed after Easter and by the end of the month both sides seemed to accept that some, albeit limited, progress had been made. Inevitably, there were calls to extend the current deadline and in the EU some parties are suggesting a two year extension, but the UK Government are holding firm with the 31 December deadline.

All we can do is watch and see, but once we have the Coronavirus crisis under control, Brexit could be firmly back in the spotlight.

Martin Gibbs is Dafferns Managing Partner. He still likes talking about BREXIT and any views in this post are his own.