‘Rigid’ Brexit time frame will leave things out of reach: EU commissioner

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FILE PHOTO: European Commissioner-designate for An Economy that Works for People Valdis Dombrovskis of Latvia attends his hearing before the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium October 8, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The end-2020 deadline set by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to reach a deal on future EU-UK ties is “rigid” and will limit the scope of a free trade agreement between the two, EU Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said on Tuesday.

“We are raising a concern that the period for negotiating a trade agreement is going to be very limited and it would be very problematic to hold negotiations and reach agreement on a comprehensive trade agreement,” he told a news conference.

“So we’ll need now to see what exactly can be achieved during such a time period. We haven’t even started those negotiations but this provides for a very rigid time frame, which reflects that certain things will be out of reach.”

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop and Jan Strupczewski; Editing by David Clarke

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