EU welcomes clarity of conservative victory as clarity over Brexit

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European diplomats on Thursday welcomed the clarity an apparently decisive election victory for the Conservative party gave to Britain's stalled withdrawal from the EU, but said it would be challenging to agree a trade deal the end of 2020. 'Clarity is good.

Reuters December 13, 2019 05:13:22 IST
EU welcomes clarity of conservative victory as clarity over Brexit

EU welcomes clarity of conservative victory as clarity over Brexit

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European diplomats on Thursday welcomed the clarity an apparently decisive election victory for the Conservative party gave to Britain's stalled withdrawal from the EU, but said it would be challenging to agree a trade deal the end of 2020.

"Clarity is good. But a tall order to move on the future relationship in such a short time," one EU official said.

Exit polls showed the Conservative Party of Boris Johnson would enjoy a very clear majority of 86 seats in the British parliament.

French diplomats said that would allow for a swift passage of the Brexit withdrawal agreement.

"If it's confirmed ... we can assume he'll implement what he said he would do, that is to say Brexit at end-January," the French diplomat said, adding the EU wanted the future relationship with Britain to be as strong as possible.

Britain and the EU have to negotiate a trade deal by the end of 2020 because that is when a transition period for Britain's withdrawal ends and when trade relations between London and its biggest trading partner - the EU - would revert to World Trade Organization standards.

(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; Editing by John Chalmers)

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