United Kingdom formally rejects Brexit transition extension

Marco Green
June 15, 2020

In order to avoid a no-deal scenario, the two sides would need to negotiate a new permanent accord in the coming months, authorize it and put into force before the current temporary deal is set to expire on January 1 next year.

But the government said it would not extend the transition period that began when Britain left the bloc in January.

While that in itself is good news for Brexit supporters, as the United Kingdom remains an European Union member in all but name as long as the transition period continues, he also confirmed that new customs border controls would not come into full effect until seven months after the end of the transition - even though the European Union will likely impose them on Britain.

The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier noted that no extension had always been a United Kingdom red line and said it was important to "make progress on substance".

"Full Safety and Security declarations will be required, while for SPS [Sanitary and Phytosanitary] commodities there will be an increase in physical checks and the taking of samples: checks for animals, plants and their products will now take place at British Border Control Posts", the Cabinet Office said.

"On 1 January 2021 we will take back control and regain our political and economic independence".

"Once the European Union understands this, then landing zones become possible for state aids, fisheries and even for the Northern Ireland Protocol, three of the most intractable areas at present", he said.

The Financial Times reported that Britain will introduce a temporary "light-touch regime", regardless of whether a new trade deal is agreed.

The Cabinet Office said this "flexible and pragmatic approach" will give industry extra time to make necessary arrangements.

In their letter Nicola Sturgeon and Mark Drakeford said: 'We believe exiting the transition period at the end of the year would be extraordinarily reckless.

Johnson himself will get involved next week, speaking to EU Commission president Ursula Von Der Leyen on Monday to assess progress.

"No one expects any breakthrough unless Boris Johnson decides to surprise us", said one senior official.

Without an extension, "at very best there will only be a damaging "bare bones" trade deal or even worse, a disastrous no-deal outcome", they warned.

Responding to this, Maros Sefcovic, who leads the joint committee on the European Union side, said (also via Twitter): "With six months to go, lots of work remains..."

The joint committee had to decide by the end of the month as to whether to extend the status quo transition.

He said Brussels was "pleading" for work to be speeded up across the board to secure a "very close and cordial relationship" by the start of 2021.

The negotiating teams have also agreed to "an intensified timetable" for July, with possible discussions in person if public health guidelines enable them during the coronavirus pandemic.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

Discuss This Article