Brexit extension: Will the transition period be extended into new year?

Pound to euro exchange rate seen dropping amid Brexit talks

Negotiators are still in talks over a possible Brexit deal despite the end of the transition period on December 31 now a matter of days away. Both sides have reportedly struck a deal over the outstanding sticking points, namely the level playing field and access to fishing waters.

Negotiators have been continuing talks in Brussels in recent days, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission president Ursula von Der Leyen remaining in close contact in an attempt to resolve difficulties.

Von der Leyen has been frequently speaking with the Prime Minister in an attempt to sort out a deal before the deadline passes.

She has reportedly also been encouraging the big fishing nations to make offers with the British on fishing matters.

The two sides have shown a wide array of conflicting signals: Britain on Wednesday said that two significant issues – fishing and competition – still remained on the table and that there had not been sufficient progress for a deal.

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But during a meeting with the EU’s executive, the European Commission, which is negotiating with Britain on behalf of the EU, national diplomats in Brussels were told to be ready for a meeting on Thursday should a deal come.

“It seems the deal is pretty much there.

“It’s a matter of announcing it today or tomorrow,” said one EU diplomat.

There have been signals from some, particularly those on the EU side, that the transition period could be extended so that a deal can be secured.

Will the transition period be extended?

The Government has been adamant that there will be no extension to the Brexit process, despite frequent calls for the period to be extended to ensure a deal is secured.

The Prime Minister said: “It’s vital that everyone understands that the UK has got to be able to control its own laws completely.

“And, also, that we have got to be able to control our own fisheries.

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“And, it remains the case that WTO terms [no-deal] would be more than satisfactory for the UK.

“And we can certainly cope with any difficulties that are thrown in our way.
“Not that we don’t want a deal, but WTO terms would be entirely satisfactory.

“Prosper mightily remains an extremely good description of life after 1 January either way.”

Conservative MPs, alongside senior figures from other parties, including Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, have now called for Mr Johnson to request post-Brexit trade talks be pushed into the new year.

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