EU back down: MEPs ignore own deadline and will ‘take any step’ to secure Brexit deal

 EU back down: MEPs ignore own deadline and will ‘take any step’ to secure Brexit deal

BREXIT trade talks could rumble on until the end of the year after European Parliament chiefs were forced to ignore their own deadline to vote on a deal.

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David McAllister, head of the Brexit committee, insisted MEPs would do everything they could to avoid the disruption of a no deal Brexit. He said they are ready to “take any step that minimises disruptions for our citizens and businesses” with the trade and security talks set to drag on. Writing on Twitter, Mr McAllister said: “The EU Parliament has done its utmost to be in a position to grant consent before the end of the transition period and is committed to take any step that minimises disruptions for our citizens and businesses.”

He is set to meet with EU Parliament President David Sassoli to discuss possible alternatives after Brexit negotiators missed a deadline imposed by MEPs to have talks wrapped up yesterday by midnight.

MEPs insisted they wouldn’t vote to ratify the deal this year unless an agreement was reached by that time.

But hardliners claimed they would still stand in the way of the Parliament voting on an agreement at the last minute.

German MEP Bernd Lange, trade committee chair, said: “The EU Parliament went to the extreme limit of what is democratically justifiable to end the uncertainty of people and companies with ratification this year – unfortunately in vain.

Bernd Lange, Michel Barnier, David McAllister

EU Parliament vows to move to ensure Brexit deal can enter into force by Jan 1 (Image: GETTY)

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David McAllister and Michel Barnier

David McAllister and Michel Barnier at a meeting in the EU Parliament (Image: GETTY)

“Still unclear whether there will be an agreement. Now focus on damage control and cushioning.

“A possible agreement will not be finalised until the New Year from EU Parliament can be adopted after thorough examination.

“In this respect, we need interim solutions. An extension of the transition period would be the best. But two for tango are required, and the British side should also agree.”

The European Commission has previously rule

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Redak staff

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