Friday , May 29 2020

Brexit transition: BBC’s Jo Coburn explains why Boris Johnson will refuse EU extension | UK | News

Britain is just weeks away from a crunch meeting with the EU, where Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen will decide whether to extend the transition period. The BBC’s Jo Coburn has predicted that talks will collapse at this meeting, with Boris Johnson “sticking to his line” and not bowing down to EU threats. The shock prediction from the BBC political presenter comes amid mounting speculation that both sides are now acknowledging that a no deal Brexit is the most likely outcome.

Speaking to BBC Datelines, The Times columnist Iain Martin argued why the Prime Minister will reject demands from European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen.

He explained: “I see it going ahead without an extension. The key decision is not in December when Britain leaves the transition, where it has continued to follow EU rules.

“The crunch comes in June when both sides have to decide whether sufficient progress has been made to do a deal or whether it just breaks down and we end up with a no deal Brexit.

“The calculation the UK Government make is reasonable – the economy has taken such spectacular hit, the worst since the 18th Century.” 

JUST IN: Gove ridicules SNP’s authority following demands for Brexit extension

Martin continued: “We are looking at a recession so deep that the government’s calculation is would you really notice the increased effects of a no deal Brexit.

“Would you get a better deal by waiting six months or a year. Isn’t it better just to crack on with it and remodel the economy?

“It’s possible, in the case of a second wave, that Boris Johnson changes his mind. But those around him seem particularly determined not to extend the transition.

“What shouldn’t be forgotten is if Boris tried to extend the transition, the politics of it become impossible for him because his own MPs would not tolerate an extension.

This follows news that EU chiefs are likely preparing for a no deal Brexit after the latest round of trade talks collapsed with the UK.

Professor Anand Menon, Director of the UK in a Changing Europe initiative, said the European Union has already conceded there will not be an extension to the transition period beyond December 31 and will begin preparations for a no deal outcome.

Boris Johnson’s Brexit negotiator David Frost and his EU counterpart Michel Barnier failed to make a breakthrough following the third round of heated negotiations last week.

Mr Frost complained that the EU’s proposals would “bind this country to EU law or standards” and diminish British sovereignty.

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