The EU fears that the UK government is deliberately stalling on Brexit trade deal negotiations, and may secretly be aiming to exit European trade arrangements without first agreeing a new deal.
The UK is due to exit Europe’s trade and customs arrangements at the end of 2020, despite growing pressure from business groups and opposition political parties to extend the Brexit transition period.
However, Boris Johnson’s government insists the country will leave, regardless of whether a new trade deal is negotiated.
The hardline stance, in which few concessions are being offered to the EU, has led some in Brussels to wonder whether the UK government even wants to sign a new trade deal before 2021.
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