Prime Minister Boris Johnson Rejects Calls to Extend Brexit Talks Into 2021

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has rejected calls from conservative members of parliament (MPs) and other lawmakers to extend the Brexit talks beyond the end of 2020 amid the United Kingdom facing border and COVID-19 crises.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has rejected calls from conservative members of parliament (MPs) and other lawmakers to extend the Brexit talks beyond the end of 2020 amid the United Kingdom facing border and COVID-19 crises.

Johnson said that his stance has remained “unchanged” and that the U.K. would “cope with any difficulties” that may come as MPs and other lawmakers have urged for more time to reach a post-Brexit trade deal as the U.K. struggles with the rising cases of COVID-19, including a newly-identified strain that has prompted other countries to ban travels with the U.K.

“Our position on a transition period is clear. It will end on 31 December,” Johnson’s spokesperson said.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon stated in a tweet that seeking an agreement to extend the Brexit transition period is “imperative.”

“The new COVID strain and the various implications of it means we face a profoundly serious situation, and it demands our 100% attention. It would be unconscionable to compound it with Brexit,” Sturgeon further stated.

“Securing our key supply chains and fighting the coronavirus pandemic requires the full and undivided efforts of ministers more than ever before,” London Mayor Sadiq Khan said in a statement, adding that “the only thing the country should be concentrating on is fighting the virus.”

Commons Defense Committee Chair Tobias Ellwood and Northern Ireland Committee Chair Simon Hoare also urged for an extension, calling for the “clock” to pause on the Brexit talks.

However, Labour Leader Keir Starmer declined the calls for extension and urged Johnson to “get that deal over the line today or tomorrow.”


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