New extension: Brussels and London will keep trying until the last minute

Von der Leyen in Johnson have agreed to do so in a brief phone call

The Brexit has no end in sight, yet. Despite the fact that the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, and the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, had promised to reach a firm decision on Sunday, the final date has again been missed. After a brief phone call, the President of the EU announced in an equally brief video release that they will continue trying. Post-Brexit talks, therefore, continue in the discounted time (where they have long been located) with the aim of defining the relationship between the UK and the European Union after December 31st, the effective divorce date.

"Despite the fatigue and despite the fact that deadlines have been missed time and time again, we both believe that it is responsible to try our best. We have told the negotiators to continue the calls and see if we can reach a deal even at this late stage", Von der Leyen said. Neither side seems to want to be the first to break off the talks and it is already clear that it will be necessary to reach a trade deal by 2021. Neither side has set another deadline, and the negotiating teams are still in Brussels.

Therefore, this translates in a further extension, after convulsions have been constantly lengthening, also prolonging the agony even though the situation seems increasingly irreconcilable. They had given themselves until today to take a firm decision, after a meeting in person in the Belgian capital was not successful. In the last few days, the messages of pessimism were already much more powerful than those of political correctness and diplomacy that came from Brussels.

"A no deal is now more possible than a deal"; community sources said on Friday, after President Von der Leyen updated the heads of state and government at a summit that the Brexit tried to monopolize without much success. And on Saturday evening, British sources again noted that "the talks are still difficult" and reiterated Johnson's position: "An agreement has to be fair and respect the principles of control and sovereignty".

And given the situation, the European Union has accelerated the emergency plan for when December 31 is reached without a deal. More than a plan, this is a series of contingency measures that try to put a pillow over the sectors that can be most quickly flooded by chaos when there is a definitive separation between the United Kingdom and the European Union and there is not a sufficiently solid legal framework to regulate their relations.

This is why the contingency measures basically involve extensions of the current situation in the air and land transport sector and also in the fisheries sector, however, they are based on reciprocity and goodwill. This means, for example, that British aircrafts will be able to fly over European airspace and land on the continent twice to refuel without any problems, provided that the United Kingdom allows European airlines to do the same. In the same vein, on Saturday the European Commission published an update of the procedural guidelines so that companies know how to operate when trading with the UK after the transition period.

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