A European Union leaders' summit has concluded in Brussels with zero progress made regarding a future relationship agreement between the 27-nation bloc and the United Kingdom.
British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, insists the UK will "prosper mightily" even if no trade agreement is reached with the EU. However, 50 percent of UK exports go to the EU with just 10 percent EU exports going in the other direction. That having been said, the EU side will also be hurt in a no-deal scenario. Belgium, home to the bloc's institutions, would suffer most job losses initially.
Studies commissioned by the federal government suggest up to 6,000 jobs will be lost in Brussels and up to 26,000 nationwide. Most of these relate to those working in the area of EU regulations.
The Brexit transition period ends on the 31st of December. If there is no future relationship deal there will likely be chaos at UK border crossings. New British border checks in Ireland could potentially see the collapse of a hard won peace process. Experts say negotiators on both sides need to get serious.
French President, Emmanuel Macron, accuses Britain of not taking the EU's position seriously. German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has repeated the mantra that a deal is still possible but not at any price. Regardless of how the process turns out, analysts say EU-UK relations have been damaged irreparably due to a lack of trust. Talks will resume in London next week.