As Brexit looms, Germany and France fret over time for new deal

Ministers from France and Germany are warning that there's little time to agree a new trade deal with Britain

ahead of the last senior European Union leadership meeting in Brussels where the United Kingdom is represented as a member state.

The long awaited Brexit day is Friday, but it's also setting up a new ticking clock - the parties still need to agree to a new relationship encompassing areas from trade to security by the end of 2020.

Germany's minister for Europe Michael Roth says the 'back and forth' between the sides needs to end.


"We have really worked ourselves into the ground for Great Britain... I think it would be good if we are clear from the start what everyone wants. Our offer is on the table for as close relations as are possible. Now it is for the British side to make clear how they see the relations between the European Union and the United Kingdom."

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ruled out extending the status-quo transition period after Brexit beyond the end of 2020 to ensure more time to sign off on a new deal with the EU.

But some in the EU think it may be unavoidable given how complex and wide-ranging talks would be.