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Brexit: Johnson and von der Leyen to hold ‘high level’ talks next week

The UK Prime Minister and European Commission President hope to kickstart a process to break the deadlock in post-Brexit talks on trade and future EU-UK ties.

An effort to breathe life into the deadlocked post-Brexit trade talks has come with the announcement that Boris Johnson is to hold talks with Ursula von der Leyen next week. Both sides have also agreed to step up negotiations throughout July.

The intervention to involve the British prime minister and the European Commission president comes after several rounds of talks on trade and the future UK-EU relationship had made next to no progress in recent weeks.

Current arrangements, which preserve much of the UK-EU relationship from before the British departure in January, will come to an end when the post-Brexit transition period expires on December 31.

The deadline for a decision on whether to extend this period runs out at the end of June, but the UK has repeatedly ruled out a prolongation.

The UK’s chief negotiator David Frost retweeted a statement from the prime minister’s office, adding that he was “very pleased” that Johnson, von der Leyen and the presidents of the European Council and European Parliament were to meet on Monday, by video link because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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