Remainers have sparked fury, after it has come to light that they tried to sneak through a Bill demanding that Brexit is delayed beyond December 31, 2020.
On Wednesday Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, wrote to leaders of the Liberal Democrats, SNP, Plaid Cymru, SDLP, Green Party and the Alliance Party, stating that the bloc is open to the idea of a Brexit extension by up to 24 months if the UK wants it.
He wrote, "The European Union remains determined to build a new and ambitious partnership with the United Kingdom in the short time that is available, given your Government's repeated statements that it will not agree to an extension of the transition period.
"I take note of your views of a possible extension to the transition period.
"Such an extension of up to one or two years can be agreed jointly by the two parties.
"The European Union has always said that we remain open on this matter.
"Regardless of the extension issue, please rest assured that the EU side will continue to do its utmost to reach an ambitious and balanced partnership agreement with the United Kingdom."
This letter came after the leaders of those parties wrote to Mr Barnier on May 15, asking “for a two-year extension to be agreed between the EU and the UK amid negotiations deadlock”
However, Boris Johnson and David Frost, the UK’s chief Brexit negotiator have spurned the idea of an extension, saying that a post-Brexit trade deal must be signed this year, before the December 31 deadline.
Mr Frost also told MP’s that “there is no prospect of the proposal being accepted and that the UK is determined to secure economic and political freedom at the end of this year and avoiding ongoing significant payments into the EU budget”.
“And, of course, those things are accomplished by ending the transition period at the end of the year.”
According to the UK Parliament's website, a trade deal has already been put forward with the hope of pushing through an extension.
The summary states: "A Bill to require Her Majesty's Government to seek a two-year extension to the implementation period under Article 132 of the Withdrawal Agreement; to repeal the -prohibition on agreeing to such an extension under section 33 of the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2000, and for connected purposes."
The second reading, that is the next stage for the Bill, is currently set to take place on June 12, and Mr Frost confirmed that the Prime Minister himself will lead the next round of talks on future trade deals next month in June. He said “The expectation on both sides is that these are done at leader level. And therefore, yes, the Prime Minister will attend”.
Martin Daubney from the Brexit Party and who, between 2019 and 2020, was also a member of the European Parliament, posted this tweet saying, "Just been contacted by a Tory MP, furious that Lib Dem co-leader Ed Davey is trying to squeeze through a Bill that will demand a two-year Brexit extension.
"The Remain elite still won’t listen to the British public! Expect huge fireworks on June 12th."
As you can imagine the move from remainers has sparked fury on Twitter with comments like, "Everything for the last four years either has its roots in 23rd June 2016 or is used to influence the events since 23rd June 2016.
"The day we leave and leave proper can't come soon enough."
"It's shocking that in a time of national crisis we can see what the opposition have been spending the time doing.
"Meanwhile they have done zero to work with the Government."
Although this move has caused a frenzy throughout parliament, there are some that have welcomed the letter from Mr Barnier. Mr Blackford, the Westminster leader from the SNP party is one of them, he has called for the Prime Minister to accept the offer of a two-year extension, saying, "Boris Johnson must finally put his responsibilities to jobs, living standards and the economy first - and urgently agree the two-year extension on offer to the transition period.
"It would be madness to pile a Brexit crisis on top of the coronavirus crisis we already face - with unemployment soaring, businesses shedding jobs, and many struggling to survive.
"Time is running out. There is just a month left to agree an extension to prevent the UK crashing out with a devastating bad deal or a catastrophic No-Deal.
"If the Prime Minister fails to agree to an extension he will be responsible for every job lost, every income slashed, and every business that goes under as a result of his bad Brexit deal.
"The SNP will continue to press for a long extension to protect Scotland's economy - but the only way to guarantee Scotland's interests and protect our place at the heart of Europe is to become an independent country."
And Liberal Democrat leadership candidate Layla Moran is another, as she urged Mr Johnson to "put his pride aside" and agree to an extension of the transition period.
She said: "The transition period was designed to give us time to secure a trade deal and make preparations for it to come into effect.
"That time has already, and understandably, been decimated by the Coronavirus response. This makes a dangerous No-Deal Brexit more likely at the end of the year, unless we extend the transition period.
"I am urging the Prime Minister to put his pride aside, tackle the crisis in front of him and take the extension he's being offered."
The Brexit transition period will currently come to an end on December 31 2020, but the UK has until the beginning of July to request an extension.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has, however, frequently ruled out any extension and insists the transition period will end at the end of this year, on December 31.
January 14, 2021