We need to extend the Brexit transition period.

With the Coronavirus Crisis gripping the UK and Europe, the challenge to control the outbreak will require the full attention of legislators on both sides of the Channel. Nothing short of the full focus of government departments,civil servants and the public will be necessary in order to save lives. Alas, the social and economic consequences of the virus will likely be felt for a long time after we emerge from the crisis. 

Both the UK government and the EU are, quite rightly, prioritising the Coronavirus outbreak ahead of anything else. Despite this, we mustn’t forget that the UK is currently locked in a time-limited transition period as we withdraw from the EU. The clock stops automatically on December 31 2020 and, already, vital negotiations regarding the future economic relationship between the UK and the EU have been cancelled (quite rightly) in order to deal with the outbreak. As this continues, it is of crucial importance that the Government takes every step to avoid crashing out of the EU on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms. Boris Johnson and his government have a duty to manage both the Coronavirus Crisis and the UK’s withdrawal from the EU so as to minimise their huge impact. 

Over the past weeks, there have been rumours of an extension to the transition period being considered by the Government. However, no such assurance has been given publicly, and no official request for an extension has been submitted to date. This will not do. A majority of Britons support extending the transition period and the UK public urgently needs reassurance that Boris Johnson is pulling out all the stops to tackle the Coronavirus Crisis effectively; that he will not allow the UK to leave the EU without a fully negotiated and agreed trading relationship with the EU. The UK public deserves better than having to endure two crises in a year. 

In the interests of the public’s wellbeing and future prospects, we are calling on Boris Johnson to ask for an extension to the transition period and to delay Brexit immediately. Only then will we know that the Government is thinking of our long term wellbeing, and doing everything possible to tackle the crisis we face now,as well as preventing another one on December 31st. 

Join our call to delay Brexit by signing our petition here.