- Gove had echoed the very sentiments previously, having insisted on Thursday in the House of Commons.
- The European Union and the United Kingdom announced last week that they had made no major progress in the new negotiating session on post-Brexit relations.
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson hopes to complete negotiations on future bilateral relations by 31 December 2020.
The British government has today told the European Union that it doesn’t intend to extend the post-Brexit transition period. The decision was formally communicated to the European Commission by Michael Gove, Minister for the Cabinet Office of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
“I just chaired a constructive EU Joint Committee meeting with Marcos Sefcovic,” Gove tweeted Friday, referring to the Vice President for Inter-institutional Relations for the European Commission.
“I formally confirmed the UK will not extend the transition period & the moment for extension has now passed. On 1 January 2021 we will take back control and regain our political & economic independence.”
Gove had echoed the very sentiments previously, having insisted on Thursday when he told MPs in the House of Commons that Britain will not in anyway whatsoever extend the transition period beyond Dec. 31.
The transition period ends on December 31 2020. Under no circumstances will the Government accept an extension. Indeed, we have a domestic law obligation not to accept. Extending simply delays the moment at which we achieve what we want and what the country voted for – our economic and political independence.”
The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, on his part, also explained his government’s position on Twitter Friday.
“[The EU] has always been open to an extension of the transition period. At today’s Joint Committee, we took note of UK’s decision not to extend. We must now make progress on substance. To give every chance to the negotiations, we agreed to intensify talks in the next weeks and months.”
Barnier: There are Still Disagreements
The European Union and the United Kingdom announced last week that they had made no major progress in the new negotiating session on post-Brexit relations.
“This week, there have been no significant areas of progress,” Barnier said. “We cannot go on like this forever.” The EU official stressed that there were still disagreements over guarantees on fair competition, the management of the new bilateral relationship, and fishing rights.
Some progress has been made on safeguards for human rights, but no agreement has yet been reached on the issue, Barnier said.
The UK had a similar message. “Progress remains limited but our talks have been positive in tone. Negotiations will continue and we remain committed to a successful outcome,” said David Frost, British government’s Brexit negotiator.
Transition from Here
The United Kingdom withdrew from the European Union on 1 February. In the post-Brexit transition period, which runs until 31 December 2020, the UK will continue to apply European Union regulations.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson hopes to complete negotiations on future bilateral relations by 31 December 2020. EU leaders have repeatedly told him that time is short. Brussels has warned the British government that it will have to meet social, labor, and environmental standards in order to reach a free trade agreement with the European Union.
Downing Street claims that it wants conditions similar to those granted by the European Union to Canada, South Korea, and Japan, but EU officials have pointed out that the situation is different in terms of standards, in the context of geographical proximity between the European Union and the United Kingdom.