Thursday, 11 August 2022 – 15:43

Government moving to rule out extension to Brexit transition period

The government is moving to rule out any extension to the Brexit transition period beyond December 2020.

After Brexit-day, there is due to be a transition period in which the UK and EU will discuss their future relationship on key issues such as the economy and environmental standards. The transition period is currently due to end in December 2020 but can be extended by mutual agreement for up to two years.

The government is expected to add a clause to its Brexit bill before it presents it before the House of Commons, likely on Friday, which would prevent such an extension from taking place.

The news comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the Commons on Tuesday that the new “people’s parliament” will “get Brexit done”.

By enshrining in law a ban on the extension of the transition period, the government will be hoping that there are no further delays to delivering Brexit. However, there are questions over what could happen at the end of 2020 if a future relationship agreement has not been made with the EU, leading some to fear a ‘no deal’ type scenario.

Asked about whether the government could miss the deadline of December 2020 for getting a deal in place, Michael Gove said, “No. We are going to make sure we get this deal done in time.” Kier Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary who is expected to run for the position of Labour leader, described the government’s move to prevent a delay beyond December 2020 as “reckless and irresponsible behaviour”.

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