German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the European Union must accept the “reality” than a UK-EU trade deal must be beneficial to the United Kingdom as well as the bloc.
Dr Merkel, who currently holds the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union, told a meeting of European mayors on Tuesday that “we have to prepare for the event that there will be no agreement”.
“We also have to take into account the reality; an agreement has to be in the interests of both parties, in British interests as well as the interests of the 27 member European Union,” the council president said, according to The Telegraph.
The UK officially left the EU on January 31st, 2020, but remains tied to Brussels rules in a transition period which expires on New Year’s Eve.
If a deal is not struck and signed in time for the end of the deadline, the UK will leave the bloc’s institutions and trade with it on World Trade Organization (WTO) terms.