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Well folks, it’s nearly the end of June, which means we did it
Bruges Group tweet
In accordance with the Brexit withdrawal agreement thrashed out between the UK and EU last year, and enshrined in the EU Withdrawal Act, the deadline for a UK request to any further delay beyond the end of the year is July 1. Pro-Brexit think tank the Bruges Group underlined their belief that an extension is now impossible, tweeting: “Well folks, it’s nearly the end of June, which means we did it.
“We pushed through the first half of the year without succumbing to the siren calls for a transition extension. Onward and Upward.”
The post echoed a similar one last month from the Bruges Group’s account, days before UK negotiator David Frost and EU counterpart Michel Barnier embarked on another round of talks.
The tweet read: “Thanks to the EU’s unreasonable stance (ably dismantled by Frost’s letter last week), progress has been poor.
“Once an extension becomes impossible, however, EU minds will be focused.”
Bruges Group director Robert Oulds subsequently told Express.co.uk Boris Johnson was increasingly in a position to pile the pressure on Brussels once the end of June was out of the way.
Mr Oulds said: “The European Union will then know that we mean business in Britain.
“The Government of Boris Johnson is standing firm and it has been since he became Prime Minister.
“He is not going to budge – they have had this vision that he is going to extend the transition period.
“That becomes an impossibility after that date.”
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Mr Oulds added: “They are not dealing with Theresa May anymore or any other British Prime Minister that has gone before apart from probably Margaret Thatcher.
“Therefore, they need to get on and negotiate a free trade deal before the end of this year.”
The “dire economic state” the bloc was facing made it imperative for them to strike a deal, Mr Oulds stressed.
He added: “They need to sit down and be serious and negotiate with us.
“The current arrangement will end – it will mean either no deal, which will mean they lose an important market or they think rationally and come to an agreement, which would be in their interests.
“People voted in the referendum to leave, they voted in 2017 for parties that promised to leave, and elected a Government with a handsome majority in 2019 to take this up fully.
“It’s what the British people want.”
Negotiators from the UK and European Union met face to face today in a bid to accelerate progress on a post-Brexit trade deal.
Teams led by Mr Frost and Mr Barnier held talks in Brussels for the first time since the coronavirus crisis forced them to be held via videolink.
Mr Barnier said they would “make the most” of the intensified process over the coming weeks and months.
He said the EU remains “calm and united in its principles and values”.
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