A pro-Brexit banner is seen outside the Houses of Parliament in London on Oct. 30. 2019.
Time is running out for the European Union and the United Kingdom to reach a free trade agreement before Britain's scheduled exit from the EU single market on Jan. 1, 2021. The second round of negotiations, which ended on April 24, failed to produce significant progress. This leaves only two more rounds of scheduled talks before London has to decide whether to extend its participation in the single market in late June, lest risk having to trade with the European Union under costly World Trade Organization (WTO) tariffs starting next year. As both sides reckon with the economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis, a limited trade agreement that preserves the status quo of U.K.-EU trade relations as much as possible, or an extension of London's membership in the single market, will become increasingly likely in order to avoid a disruptive "hard" exit that neither Brussels nor Britain can afford. ...
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