News

News | Published March 31 2020

Boris Johnson asked to extend transition period amid coronavirus pandemic

Pressure has been put on prime minister Boris Johnson to delay Brexit amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The largest group of MEPs said that the pandemic puts additional pressure on ensuring a trade deal by the intended date.

A spokesman for the prime minister said that there were no plans at present to delay the current timetable.

The plea from MEPs follows meetings between UK and EU representatives discussing the withdrawal agreement via video link.

Following the agreement, the UK will enter into a transition period under which it will abide by EU rules until the end of this year. It is hoped that the EU and UK will agree a trade deal by this time.

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, Downing Street have confirmed that talks to secure a trade deal are still taking place over the phone.

Christophe Hansen, the European People’s Party MEP and a negotiator for the parliament’s international trade committee has said that: "Under these extraordinary circumstances, I cannot see how the UK government would choose to expose itself to the double whammy of the coronavirus and the exit from the EU single market, which will inevitably add to the disruption, deal or no deal.

"I can only hope that common sense and substance will prevail over ideology.

"An extension of the transition period is the only responsible thing to do."

MEP David McAllister supported this, saying that: "The coronavirus pandemic complicates the already very ambitious schedule.

"The EU has always been open to extending the transition period - the ball is now clearly in the British court.”

The prime minister’s spokesman said that: "The transition period ends on December 31, 2020. This is enshrined in UK law."


Related Stories

Authored by

Alice Jaspars
Culture Editor
@
March 31 2020

Featured Organisations

Dancing Giraffe

Essex-based Dancing Giraffe pride themselves on leading the charge in transition from diversity and equality to inclusive thinking in society and the ... Read more

Orione Care

The Sons of Divine Providence is a Roman Catholic religious congregation, founded in Italy in 1893. The Congregation takes inspiration from its founde... Read more

A13 Steel Ltd

A13 Steel is a family-owned steel fabrication business based in Barking, London. A13 has a modern approach and focus, and is now challenging industry ... Read more

Latest News

Scotland begin to ease lockdown

Some National Trust sites to reopen in June