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25 Nov, 2020 14:54

UK PM Johnson won't seek extension for Brexit transition period as EU prepares for no-deal

UK PM Johnson won't seek extension for Brexit transition period as EU prepares for no-deal

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he won’t ask for more time to strike a deal with the EU, despite the president of its executive, Ursula von der Leyen, saying the 27-nation bloc was preparing for a no-deal Brexit.

“Of course we're not going to extend the transition period, but we want to make practical arrangements to help businesses in Northern Ireland,” Johnson told Parliament on Wednesday. 

Johnson's reaffirmation that the transition period, which ends on December 31, would not be extended came hours after European Commission President von der Leyen said she could not yet tell if there would be a Brexit deal. 

“The European Union is well prepared for a no-deal scenario,” she told the European Parliament on Wednesday. 

Johnson said he “guaranteed” that Britain would exit the transition period at the end of the year, and that British sovereignty would be protected for all of the UK, including Northern Ireland. 

Also on rt.com EU preparing for no-deal Brexit, von der Leyen says, as next days are ‘decisive’ for trade agreement with UK

If a trade deal is not reached between the EU and Britain, conducting commerce across Northern Ireland's border with Ireland – the UK's only land border with the EU – could become complicated.

Presumed US President-elect Joe Biden said on Tuesday that the idea of the Northern Irish border being closed “is just not right” and “we've just got to keep the border open.” 

Johnson also stressed that there had been no change to the UK's position on fishing quotas, one of the three sticking points holding up a post-Brexit trade deal, alongside how to settle future disputes between the two parties and the so-called “level playing field,” to ensure fair competition for businesses.

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