Brexit has captivated people, but businesses operating in the UK and those in Europe with interests in the UK are worried about what will happen on 31st October 2019.
The latest round of talks did not yield the desired results, and it now appears that the UK will be leaving the EU without a deal.
This could have a profound effect on procurement and cross-border sales.
Lack of progress
Michel Barnier, the chief negotiator for the EU, informed the EU ambassadors that in all probability the negotiations will continue after the leaders’ summit scheduled for 17th October.
This gives an indication of how unsuccessful both sides have been.
The major stumbling block is Northern Ireland staying in the EU for goods import and export.
The UK is not in favour of this, while Northern Ireland wants to be part of the EU’s single market.
The EU is hoping that Prime Minister Boris Johnson can come up with a new proposal that is acceptable to the member states to break the existing stalemate.
The lack of progress in the latest round of negotiations does not bode well for the next round of discussions after the summit.
However, if the two sides can come close to a deal in late October, then it is quite possible that they will push for a Brexit extension.
Prime Minister Johnson is quite optimistic that the path to a deal is on the horizon, but a lot of work still needs to be done before the picture becomes clear.
Johnson also informed his cabinet to be prepared to leave the EU on 31st October.
Barnier has said that the EU should give the UK one more opportunity to find another Irish backstop, while Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, said that when the UK leaves the EU, it would become a competitor along with the US and China.
How the next round of negotiations works out is something that businesses on both sides will be keeping a close eye on.