The UK has “formally confirmed” to the EU that it’s going to not prolong the Brexit transition interval and “the second for an extension has now handed”, Michael Gove has stated.
It comes after the primary ministers of Scotland and Wales wrote to Boris Johnson demanding an extension previous the top of December.
Of their letter, Nicola Sturgeon and Mark Drakeford stated ending the association then could be “terribly reckless” amid the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Gove posted on Twitter that he had chaired a “constructive” assembly of the EU Joint Committee with Maros Sefcovic, the EU Fee’s Vice-President for Interinstitutional Relations.
He stated: “I formally confirmed the UK is not going to prolong the transition interval & the second for extension has now handed. On January 1, 2021, we’ll take again management and regain our political & financial independence.”
Mr Sefcovic stated: “From our facet, I’ve taken word of the place of the UK on this problem and have said, as President von der Leyen has already performed, that the EU stays open to such an extension.
“On this context, we each, with Chancellor Gove, agreed on accelerating the implementation of the Withdrawal Settlement and to speed up our work, and we additionally agreed that the Joint Committee ought to meet once more in early September.
“By this date we additionally concluded that specialised committees together with the one on the Eire/Northern Eire protocol will meet within the coming weeks.”
Reacting to the UK’s transfer, EU negotiator Michel Barnier stated Brussels had “all the time been open to an extension”.
“At immediately’s joint committee, we took word of UK’s choice to not prolong. We should now make progress on substance,” he stated.
“To offer each likelihood to the negotiations, we agreed to accentuate talks within the subsequent weeks and months.”
The prime minister has repeatedly dominated out asking the EU for an extension since he entered Downing Road final summer season.
Nonetheless, the primary ministers argue the COVID-19 outbreak has modified issues since Britain formally left the EU on the finish of January after 47 years of membership.
Through the transition interval, Britain is sustaining the established order of membership of the bloc and attempting to barter a free commerce settlement.
The pair stated that with out an extension, Britain would “at best possible” be left with a “damaging ‘naked bones’ commerce deal and even worse, a disastrous no deal consequence”.
“On the time the Withdrawal Settlement was signed, no-one may have imagined the large financial dislocation which the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about – in Wales, Scotland, the entire of the UK, within the EU and internationally,” they stated.
“Whereas we hope that the second half of this yr will see the beginnings of a restoration, we consider that exiting the transition interval on the finish of the yr could be terribly reckless.
“It could pile an additional very important financial and social shock on prime of the COVID-19 disaster, hitting companies whose reserves, in lots of case, have already been exhausted, resulting in extra enterprise closures and redundancies.”
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Ms Sturgeon and Mr Drakeford stated that as a result of Britain can request an extension – and Brussels is open to at least one – “the shock could be avoidable”.
“No-one may reproach the UK authorities for altering its place within the gentle of the wholly unforeseeable COVID-19 disaster, significantly because the EU has made it clear it’s open to an extension request,” the pair stated.
“We due to this fact name on you to take the ultimate alternative which the following few weeks present to ask for an extension to the transition interval to be able to present a respiration area to finish the negotiations, to implement the end result, and to offer our companies the chance to seek out their ft after the large disruption of latest months.”