UK PM to out­law Brexit ex­ten­sion be­yond 2020

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Boris John­son was seek­ing on Tues­day to out­law ex­tend­ing the Brexit tran­si­tion pe­riod be­yond the end of 2020, as he pre­pared to put the EU di­vorce deal be­fore MPs.

John­son won a big ma­jor­ity in last week’s gen­eral elec­tion on a prom­ise to ‘get Brexit done’ by tak­ing Bri­tain out of the Euro­pean Union by the end of Jan­uary.

A tran­si­tion pe­riod will then fol­low, dur­ing which London and Brus­sels hope to ne­go­ti­ate a trade agree­ment be­fore the end of De­cem­ber next year.

Euro­pean lead­ers have said the 2020 dead­line would be too tight to com­plete a com­pre­hen­sive deal, re­viv­ing fears of a ‘nodeal’ out­come that could cause fresh un­cer­tainty and chaos.

That was enough to pull the pound ster­ling lower in late trad­ing in New York.

John­son held his first Cab­i­net we must re­pay their trust now by work­ing flat out to change our coun­try for the bet­ter,” he said dur­ing the meet­ing at his Down­ing Street of­fice.

“We should have ab­so­lutely no em­bar­rass­ment in say­ing we are a peo­ple’s gov­ern­ment and this is a peo­ple’s cab­i­net.”

John­son said se­nior min­is­ters needed to work ‘flat out’ to re­pay the trust of tra­di­tional Labour vot­ers who switched to his cen­tre-right Con­ser­va­tives. The gov­ern­ment’s agenda should be fo­cused on so­cial jus­tice, bet­ter in­fra­struc­ture and ‘ex­tend­ing op­por­tu­nity across the whole of the United King­dom’, he added.

John­son plans to put the EU With­drawal Agree­ment Bill be­fore MPs on Fri­day, af­ter Queen El­iz­a­beth II sets out the gov­ern­ment’s leg­isla­tive pro­gramme on Thurs­day.

But the gov­ern­ment is plan­ning to block the tran­si­tion pe­riod from go­ing be­yond the end of 2020. “Last week the pub­lic voted for a gov­ern­ment that would get Brexit done and move this coun­try for­ward - and that’s ex­actly what we in­tend to do, start­ing this week,” a Down­ing Street source said.

(AFP)

Bri­tain’s Prime Min­is­ter Boris John­son speaks dur­ing his first Cab­i­net meet­ing since the gen­eral elec­tion, in­side 10 Down­ing Street, in London on Tues­day

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