UK confirms it will not extend Brexit transition period past 31 December 2020

Jun 15, 2020

The second meeting of the EU-UK Joint Committee under the Withdrawal Agreement is taking place on Friday 12 June 2020. The provisional agenda for the meeting can be found here. The UK government confirmed at this meeting that they formally ruled out any extension of the Brexit transition period beyond 31 December 2020, despite trade talks with the EU remaining stalled. Amongst other areas of discussion were citizen’s rights, Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, and amendments to the Withdrawal Agreement. 

Michael Gove co-chaired the meeting as the UK representative, alongside European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic. UK minister Michael Gove has confirmed that the UK will not be asking for an extension to the Brexit transition period by stating, "I formally confirm that the UK will not extend the transition period & the moment for extension has now passed. On 1 January 2021 we will take back control and regain our political & economic independence. There will be no further opportunities for extension to the transition period". 

In response to this, Chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier has said, "The EU has always been open to an extension of the transition period. At today’s Joint Committee, we took note of UK’s decision not to extend. We must now make progress on substance. To give every chance to the negotiations, we agreed to intensify talks in the next weeks and months.".