Brexit Cancelled After UK Pleads for Delay

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But when asked to clarify if the agreement would make a contribution to the debt, Merkel said that was “out of the question”, though she also warned that Germany would not “accept a burden that is not necessary”.

Asked whether Merkel would agree to the debt issue being raised in future trade talks between the EU and the US, however, she said it would be unlikely that it would be dealt with in Europe.

“I think the more we try to use the EU’s sovereignty in a way that it cannot afford [to exercise it], the less of a contribution we can give,” Merkel said. “I think there are problems with this one, too.”

The deal is the most significant achievement of the EU-US free trade agreement negotiated at the height of the financial crisis, and Merkel has said she will push for further progress in the trade deal.

The issue also threatens to complicate trade talks between the EU and Britain before the UK formally leaves the bloc and talks on an economic partnership deal between the UK and the bloc.

The two sides reached agreement on the future direction and legal status of the Irish border, which will form the subject of talks to begin after the UK leaves. They also agreed on the scope of the UK’s proposed “regulatory alignment” on regulatory matters, which could include more extensive restrictions in areas such as the environment. This would include the ability for UK business officials to access some EU-regulated markets while also allowing EU regulatory bodies to maintain their own regulatory structures in the UK.

The deal also sets out the EU’s negotiating approach to Brexit, including the potential for the UK to seek closer co-operation on issues such as trade and migration. While the talks are unlikely to reach a consensus, they are likely to yield a more formal resolution of the issues that caused tension in the past, such as the impact of the rights of EU citizens in Britain and the British passport.

Under the deal, the UK and EU will agree to start the withdrawal talks by the end of March. Although the two sides initially intend to discuss an orderly transition, talks will take place on an interim basis with a new trade agreement in place for seven years.

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