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No.10 Sets Effective Brexit Negotiating Deadline At End Of September

By Arj Singh

The appointment of the UK’s chief Brexit negotiator as national security adviser sets an effective deadline for negotiations with the EU at the end of September, Downing Street has indicated.

David Frost is expected to take up the security role at the end of August but will work with departing incumbent Sir Mark Sedwill during a short “transition period”, Boris Johnson’s official spokesperson on Monday.

But once Frost takes over the job fully, the role of chief Brexit negotiator will be abolished as it will no longer be necessary, the spokesperson said.

They told reporters: “It will cease to exist once the talks with the EU have concluded one way or another later this year.

“I think we have been clear on a number of occasions, these talks shouldn’t drag on and that we want and need them to be concluded by the autumn.”

He went on: “We need to make sure businesses can prepare properly for what will happen at the end of the year, if these negotiations go on too long into the autumn they won’t know what to prepare for.”

The spokesperson added: “I think we have spoken in the past about not wanting to be continuing having talks in October.”

A new round of negotiations started on Monday morning between Frost and EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier to kick off an “intensified” programme throughout July and August.

“We need to make progress as soon as possible,” the spokesman said.

Frost has promised the talks with the EU “remain my top single priority until those negotiations have concluded, one way or another”.

The current transition period expires at the end of the year, meaning a new trade deal will need to be in place or the UK will follow World Trade Organisation rules for its relationship with the EU, which would have the most significant negative impact on the economy.

European Commission spokesperson Daniel Ferrie said: “Our overall message this week, but also for the coming weeks and coming months, is to intensify our negotiations in order to make progress in order to get a deal.”

Ferrie said he had “no particular comments to make” about Frost being given a second job while the negotiations continued.

He added: “From our side at least we are fully concentrated on the negotiations.”

Ahead of the latest round of talks, Frost said the EU’s “unrealistic positions” would need to change if there is to be any progress.

Via:: https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/brexit-negotiations-david-frost-deadline_uk_5ef9db77c5b612083c506bae