Extension to Brexit bill to be blocked by government
Due to conclude in December of next year, the post-Brexit transition period can currently be extended by up to two years. However, there is expected to be a vote on an amended Withdrawal Agreement Bill in the Commons this week to rule out any extension beyond December of next year.
The amendment has been criticised for increasing the chance of the UK leaving the EU without a trade deal.
Michael Gove, a senior cabinet minister, has disclosed that the EU and the UK have "committed themselves to making sure that we have a deal" by December next year.
Gove continued, promising that MPs would be able to review the new bill "in depth".
Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, voiced his concern that the bill indicated the prime minister was "prepared to put people's jobs at risk".
He further stated it was both "reckless and irresponsible".
No. 10 have revealed that the Withdrawal Agreement will be voted upon this Friday.
It is believed that Boris Johnson’s majority of 80 will allow the bill to pass with minimal changes, ensuring the UK will leave the EU at the end of January.
The transition period will end on 31 December 2020, by which point the government will have had time to negotiate a trade agreement with Brussels.
If no such agreement is made by this time the trade relationship will default to those set by the World Trade Organisation.
Michel Barnier, among other senior EU figures, is sceptical that an agreement can be made within the current timeframe proposed.