Downing Street has rejected calls from some Conservative MPs and the Mayor of London to consider extending Brexit talks beyond the new year, saying any trade deal must be in place and approved by December 31.
Boris Johnson’s spokesman also dismissed the idea of allowing MPs to ratify a trade deal retrospectively because time was too short, saying the Commons would vote on any deal before it goes into effect.
With talks between EU and UK negotiators still ongoing and mired in disagreements over areas including fisheries and common rules and standards, there is little more than a week left until the end of the post-Brexit transition agreement.
Some Conservative MPs argued on Monday that with the UK still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic and transport already disrupted by a suspension imposed by France due to the spread of a fast-transmitting variant of Covid, leaving without a trade deal should be avoided on Monday. January 1st. .
Tobias Ellwood, former Defense Minister, tweeted: “Let the Brexit trade negotiations continue. These are far from being the ideal conditions to rationally determine our future conditions of prosperity and security. If there is no deal for the new year, let’s do our best for the UK and break the clock. “
Simon Hoare, MP for North Dorset, tweeted that it was “the time of maturity”, saying, “There is no part time to scrutinize and agree on a deal, and the daily clarity of the dangers to our already pressured economy of no deal is alarming.”
In a declarationLondon Mayor Sadiq Khan said the idea of leaving the EU without a trade deal “was reckless even before the latest spike in Covid cases,” and said this should not be allowed to happen.
However, Labor leader Keir Starmer on Monday refused to endorse a possible extension, saying only that he wanted Johnson to honor an agreement this week.
When asked after a return speech if he agreed with the calls, Starmer said: “I don’t want an extension. I want the deal. The prime minister said he had a deal ready for the oven … I tell the prime minister, ‘Get in there and keep the deal you promised.’
Speaking after his first major political speech on the union, in which he pledged to “make the return happen” under a Labor government, Starmer added: “It would be much better for the government to get the deal passed today, tomorrow or in sometime this week. “
Johnson will face the fury of Brexit advocates if he accepts any delay. His spokesman said this will not happen, while talks with the EU “remain difficult.”
“Our position on the transition period is clear. It will end on December 31st. That is still our position, ”he said. “Obviously, we need to ratify any agreement before January 1, which means there is little time.”
The spokesman dismissed the idea of a retrospective parliamentary approval: “We have said before that we will have to ratify any agreement before January 1. The leader of the chamber made it clear that we would withdraw the parliament so that the parliamentarians could vote on the necessary legislation.
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