|05 December, 2019

UK's Javid: chances of ending Brexit transition without EU trade deal are remote

Britain is unlikely to cut off ties without having a free trade deal in place

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid gestures as he speaks at Bolton Lads & Girls club in Bolton, Britain, November 26, 2019.

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid gestures as he speaks at Bolton Lads & Girls club in Bolton, Britain, November 26, 2019.

Reuters/Phil Noble

LONDON - Britain is unlikely to cut off ties to the European Union at the end of 2020 without having a free trade deal in place, finance minister Sajid Javid said on Thursday.

The governing Conservatives have pledged to pass their Withdrawal Agreement through parliament in time to leave the European Union at the end of January if they win a majority in a December 12 election, but then need to agree a free trade deal with the European Union by the end of 2020.

"I am confident that we will get a deal done... I think (leaving without a deal) is extremely remote," Javid told BBC radio.

(Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Guy Faulconbridge) ((alistair.smout@thomsonreuters.com; +44 207 542 7064; Reuters Messaging: alistair.smout.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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