Monday, 22 October 2018

May to meet with EU business leaders amid deadlocked Brexit talks

Theresa May

PARIS: Prime Minister Theresa May will meet with European business leaders to discuss the future of UK-EU trade after Brexit as she is warned over the “urgency” to provide firms with certainty in the coming months.

The Prime Minister will use Monday’s meeting to attempt to win support from European businesses for her goal of moving the negotiations on to trade talks before Christmas.

But it comes after Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, warned that the bloc is drawing up contingency plans in case Brexit talks collapse. He said that failing to reach a deal with the UK was not his preferred option but was a “possibility”.

“Everyone needs to plan for it, member states and businesses alike. We too are making technical preparations for it. On 29 March 2019, the United Kingdom will become a third country,” he told the French publication, Le Journal du Dimanche.

During the meeting in Downing Street on Monday, which the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has helped organised, Ms May will set out her vision of a “bold and deep economic partnership” between the UK and the EU after Brexit.

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