EU to seek more time to ratify trade deal with UK – FT

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The Financial Times reports that the EU is set to ask Britain for more time to ratify the new trade deal despite the UK urging the EU to press ahead quickly, with the issue becoming a fresh point of tension between the two sides. 

The report states that the diplomats which are quoted by the newspaper, said that national ambassadors from EU countries at a meeting on Friday backed an extension to the current end of February ratification deadline, amid concerns that legally approved versions of the trade treaty in all of the bloc’s 24 official languages will not be ready by then.

“Ambassadors in Brussels were briefed at their meeting by the EU’s in-house lawyers that an end of April deadline would be more realistic to have “authentic” versions ready of the 1,246-page agreement in all 24 of the bloc’s languages,” according to the Financial Times

Both the European Parliament and the EU Council that represents member states need to ratify the agreement. The concern on the EU side is that it would be difficult in practice for EU institutions, including the European Parliament, to prepare ratification documents while relying on provisional translations of the deal that may not perfectly match.

Provisional translations were “done with great haste in the run-up to 31 December” and “need careful checking”, said one EU official. Trade experts have started to discover errors. 

Financial Times

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