Paymaster General, Penny Mordaunt has claimed that the UK will not look to extend the current Brexit transition period and will stress this to the EU at a joint Brexit committee meeting on Friday.
Mordaunt clarified the UK’s stance in the House of Commons stating that she and Michael Gove would “emphasise that we will not be extending the transition period”.
She said, “We cannot keep negotiating forever, we have to allow our businesses, our farmers, our citizens time to implement the decisions taken.
“And that is why we are at this key stage now where we have to increase and escalate negotiations because we need to arrive at a deal soon.”
She asserted that Britain would not be “barrelling off a cliff edge” and maintained that a deal could still be reached by autumn. She also claimed that it would divert any money destined for the EU coffers into the British economy to support it during the COVID-19 crisis.
Mordaunt maintained that is was only “prudent and wise” for the UK to prepare for the trade negotiations to fail, which would leave the UK with no other option than to trade with the EU under WTO (World Trade Organisation) terms from January 2021.
She said that the country had already started planning for this scenario and for the UK to leave the single market and customs union without a deal on future trade.
However, the economic impact to the UK economy will be big according to a ‘UK in a Changing Europe’ academic think-tank which suggests that a no-trade-deal exit would reduce the country’s economic growth by up to 9% over the next 10 years.
This is in comparison to a hit of 6% if a Canada-style arrangement between the two were to be reached.
Her comments come after recent talks failed to find a compromise on a number of issues including access to British waters by EU fishing boats.
Senior fellow at the think-tank UK in a Changing Europe, Catherine Barnard said in a separate report that a no-deal Brexit could lead to ‘ugly fish wars’ and issues with the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in disputes over trade and state aid and the European convention on human rights.
Meanwhile, PM Boris Johnson and European Commission president Ursula Von Der Leyen are expected to meet sometime this month in an attempt to unblock the negotiations.
Image Credit: DFID Flickr
January 14, 2021