The European Commission does not rule out the continuation of negotiations on a trade agreement with the United Kingdom after January 1.
If Brussels and London have not been able to reach an agreement before December 31, and a no-deal situation arises, further negotiations can still take place, according to a spokesman.
In any case, the EU trade rules no longer apply to the British as of January 1. The committee is working on a package of temporary emergency measures for vital sectors to mitigate the worst consequences of a no-deal.
According to the committee spokesman, the talks between President Ursula von der Leyen and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who will be coming to Brussels one of these days, will serve to “unlock” the deadlocked negotiations.
Then they will be continued by EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier and his British counterpart David Frost, he says.
If negotiations were to continue in the new year, Barnier would have to be replaced. He will turn 70 on January 9 and has to retire according to the rules of the committee.