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Sadiq Khan demands Brexit extension in angry letter to Michael Gove

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has sent a letter to the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove demanding an extension to the Brexit transition period.

The pro-Remain London Mayor insisted the “last thing” Britain needs is “more chaos and uncertainty” as Britain attempts to rebuild its economy after the coronavirus pandemic.

The letter from Mr Khan comes as the fourth round of trade talks between the UK and the EU start on Tuesday, with Prime Minister Johnson set to show face at some of the negotiations.

The London Mayor said: “No one anticipated when voting for Brexit that the key negotiations would take place at a time when all governments are rightly focused on fighting a global pandemic.

“The last thing the country needs as it tries to find a way back from the devastation wreaked by coronavirus is more chaos and uncertainty.

“I urge the Government to put political ideology aside and pursue the pragmatic route of seeking an extension to the negotiations so that we and our European partners can focus on recovery from Covid-19.”

He continued: “Further disruption, in the form of tariffs, red tape and new immigration rules when we leave the single market and customs union at the end of the year, would be needless and hazardous.

“Close regulatory alignment with the EU has never been more vital to protect our economy and support its recovery from the impacts of Covid-19.”

Sadiq Khan s letter to Michael Gove 2495317

Sadiq Khan’s letter to Michael Gove

The United Kingdom is in a transition period with the European Union until the end of the year as the two sides negotiate a free trade deal, failing to negotiate a free trade deal means the default position would revert the UK and EU to trade on World Trade Organisation rules (WTO).

Mr Khan argued that an extension to the December 31 2020 deadline is “urgently needed”.

He said: “The Government’s negotiations with the EU and other countries are highly unlikely to progress towards meaningful results and agreements while the pandemic continues.

“An extension to the transition period is now urgently needed to give businesses and public services some certainty that they won’t face another cliff edge in six months’ time.

“Otherwise the Government risks undermining the unprecedented steps it has taken to protect jobs and livelihoods, by prolonging uncertainty about our economy and the terms on which future trade will be conducted.”

In his letter last Wednesday, responded to the Westminster leaders of the SNP, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru, SDLP, Green Party and Alliance Party, Mr Barnier said: “Such an extension of up to one or two years can be agreed jointly by the two parties.

“The EU has always said that we remain open on this matter.

“Any extension decision has to be taken by the Joint Committee before July 1, and must be accompanied by an agreement on a financial contribution by the UK.”

However, the United Kingdom is taking a different approach and so far completely ruled out extending back the deadline.

The UK’s chief negotiator, Mr Frost told the Commons Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union: “That is the firm policy of the Government, that we will not extend the transition period and if asked we would not agree to it.”

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This content was sourced from Unity News Network.

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