New Labor Party leader Sir Keir Starmer has urged the government to extend the Brexit transition period, calling the deadline for negotiations “an error”. Sir Keir wasted no time in his role in delivering a scathing assessment of Boris Johnson’s approach to talks with the EU. The current deadline for talks on Britain’s future relations with the EU ends in late 2020.
Remaining business leaders and Labor joined EU leaders to support the idea of a delay.
Speaking to Andrew Marr on the BBC in his first broadcast interview since his election as Labor leader, Sir Keir was blown up on his Brexit policy.
Marr said: “It is clear that we know we have left the EU, but as things stand, we are expected to finish talks on our future relations with a tight deadline by the end of this year. “
Asked whether the UK should ask the EU to extend the Brexit transition period – which expires on December 31 – Sir Keir said “the government says it can stick but I think it’s unlikely “.
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He continued to mock the idea of putting dates in legislation as “not a very wise decision.”
Sir Keir told Marr that “it is always a mistake to put dates in the law”.
The new Labor leader has said the government should focus on the coronavirus pandemic – which would mean asking for an extension from Brussels.
He said, “The focus must be on the coronavirus and making sure you get the answer right. “
This comes as a senior source from Downing Street told the Sunday Express that Boris Johnson would not give in to pressure to extend the transition period.
The source said there was “no movement” as of the end of the transitional period, which was established by law with the bill on the withdrawal agreement.
If no extension is agreed, Britain will finally be free to make its own laws and sign international trade agreements in 2021.
Writing for Express, former Brexit MEP Matthew Patten said: “The EU and the Remoaners desperately want to slow things down, there is no practical reason why Brexit negotiations cannot not continue.
“The UK has never had such a strong negotiating hand as it does today. The general election gave Boris an overwhelming mandate to deliver Brexit.
“The COVID-19 economic crisis significantly increases the EU’s dependence on the United Kingdom as a trading and financial partner; after Brexit, whatever the deal, we will always have close political, trade and cultural relations with our European neighbors and the rest of the world. “