The UK will hold the third round of talks this week with the EU. This round of talks comes just a few weeks ahead of the crucial June summit, where both sides must decide if they are going to extend the transition period that at present is set to end on December 31 this year.
The UK Prime Minister has always insisted that despite the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, the December deadline will not be extended. Brits, however, are worried that this may not be the case and are feeling angry at the prospect of the UK being bound by further EU laws, if an extension is agreed.
These fears and worries were heightened at the weekend following talks on the international response to the current COVID-19 crisis, between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
It is understood that the European Union are planning to make big changes to their legislation in order to help it recover from the Coronavirus pandemic.
If the UK Government did extend past December 31 2020, It would still not be allowed to sit at the negotiating table as Brussels executes extensive changes to its laws and regulations.
According to the Express newspaper, readers are taking to their social media profiles to express their anger at the prospect of Britain being tied to Brussels, any longer than is necessary.
Comments such as “No more delays. Britain voted out. We should be completely out by now.”
“Boris we voted for Brexit what is the problem, get on with it”
“No extension needed ....Leave completely and money saved, spend on our own.”
“We don’t want any extensions. JUST BREXIT, WE VOTED OUT!”
“This is why we must get out as soon as possible.”
Boris Johnson’s negotiator David Frost and EU Chief Michel Barnier held the second round of talks last month, and both sides refused to budge on their “red-lines”.
During the talks, the EU Chief also reiterated the European Union’s intention to seek “a level playing field” with the UK, on a number of core areas including regulations, justice and fisheries.
Mr Barnier also criticised the timetable for talks, stating “It’s exceptional, never in the history for such important negotiations with any third country, have we been under such time pressure.”
“The UK, therefore, cannot impose this short, brief timeline and at the same time not budge, make progress, on some topics that are of importance to the EU.”
On Friday, Simon Coveney, the Deputy Irish Premier said the COVID-19 pandemic has made the timeline for a UK-EU trade deal “virtually impossible” and called for more time.
“COVID-19 has made what is already a very, very difficult timeline to get an agreement virtually impossible.
"Given the added complications of Covid-19, it surely makes sense to seek a bit more time to navigate our way through these very difficult waters in the months ahead so that we can get a good outcome for the UK and EU."
The Government again reiterated its position and stood firm, insisting any delays would increase uncertainty within the UK.
It also insisted that any future legislation put forward by the European Union would not be in the UK’s best interest.
A Government spokesman said: “Extending the transition would simply prolong the negotiations, prolong business uncertainty, and delay the moment of control of our borders.
“Clearly as the EU looks to deal with the impacts of coronavirus on the 27 member states, they will need to propose all kinds of new legislation which will obviously be designed for the 27, rather than being tailored in a way to suit the interests of the UK.
“An extension to the transition period would bind us into future EU legislation, without us having any say in designing it.”
If you are British citizen living in Spain, you will need to make sure you are fully registered as resident in Spain prior to the current transition period ending on December 31.
Image Credit: European Parliament on Flickr
January 14, 2021