The German government is expecting post-Brexit UK-EU trade talks to enter a “hot phase” in September, despite British negotiators claiming they want a deal wrapped up before autumn.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday that talks needed “a bit of oomph” and that a deal in July was the aim for UK negotiators.
However, a leaked document from the German government, and seen by Reuters, reveals that Berlin expects negotiations to drag on longer.
The deadline for a trade deal to be struck is 31 December, however the UK has said it will make a decision before autumn on whether a deal is possible.
The leaked document read: “From September, the negotiations enter a hot phase.
“Britain is already escalating threats in Brussels, wants to settle as much as possible in the shortest possible time and hopes to achieve last-minute success in the negotiations.”
Johnson met with EU chiefs on Monday, after talks had reached a stalemate after four rounds of negotiations.
Particularly contentious areas have been EU access to UK fishing waters, business competition regulations and the European Court of Justice’s role in governing a deal.
UK and EU negotiators will meet for a series of five consecutive week-long negotiating rounds beginning next month.
Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said yesterday that the UK was willing to be flexible to try and strike a deal next month.
“We’re ready to be flexible about how we secure a free trade agreement that works for both sides,” he said.
“The UK however has been clear throughout that the new relationship we seek with the EU must fully reflect our regained independence, sovereignty and autonomy. One thing we cannot do is accept the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.
“The UK’s political will is there, our position is reasonable, based on precedent, and we still have the time to bring a deal home.”