January 8, 2020 / 3:39 PM / 14 days ago

ECB's Lagarde warns 11 months could be tight for a Brexit deal

FILE PHOTO: New European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde addresses a news conference on the outcome of the meeting of the Governing Council, in Frankfurt, Germany, December 12, 2019. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

BERLIN (Reuters) - The President of the European Central Bank suggested it was not certain that 11 months was sufficient time to conclude a trade deal between Britain and the European Union, saying in an interview with Challenges magazine that time was short.

“The UK is due to leave the European Union on 31 January 2020. This means one less uncertainty, which is good news for investors. That said, the biggest challenge is yet to come – namely the issue of reaching a trade deal between London and the EU during the 11‑month transition period,” she said.

“The economic and financial impact of Brexit will depend on the details of that agreement – if indeed one can be reached – during that short period of time,” she added, echoing earlier warnings by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who said it would be difficult to conclude a comprehensive agreement by the end of this year.

In the interview, posted to the ECB’s website on Wednesday, Lagarde also said the central bank’s ongoing strategy review would be a good moment to examine the impact of climate risks on the bank’s macroeconomic models and the policy consequences.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt and Michelle Martin; Editing by Francesco Canepa

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