Since Britain formally left the EU on January 31 it has remained in a transitional arrangement with Brussels, meaning contributions continue to be made to the EU budget and European regulations applied. This is due to come to an end on January 1 though the UK could request an extension.
However on Tuesday Michael Gove formally informed the EU Britain will not be seeking any transition extension.
According to the Sunday Telegraph Mr Johnson will reiterate this point to Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, during a video conference on Monday.
European Council president Charles Michel and European Parliament President David Sassoli will also be on the call.
On the British side Mr Johnson will be joined by David Frost, his chief Brexit negotiator, as well as Mr Gove.
If the UK and EU can’t agree a trade deal, and the transition period isn’t extended, then they will trade on WTO terms.
This means Britain and the EU will put tariffs on each other’s imports.
There had been speculation the two sides could enter into ‘tunnel’ negotiations, meaning intense talks conducted under a media blackout.
However speaking to the Sunday Telegraph a Government official said: “The EU was a little slow to agree to an intensified timetable for talks, and has been making noises about so-called tunnels.
“But, whatever happens, we will be ready for January 1, when we will be back in control of our laws, borders and money.”
Negotiations between Brussels and the UK have primarily broken down over fishing rights and the EU’s demand Britain continue to follow its “level playing field” rules for business.
Eurosceptics believe any compromise on the “level playing field” issue will mean Britain still has to obey a significant amount of Brussels legislation, whilst having virtually no say over its content.
Instead they are pushing for a free trade agreement similar to the one negotiated between the EU and Canada.
If there is a no-deal Brexit the Government has announced full controls on goods entering Britain won’t be put in place till July.
On Tuesday Mr Gove commented: “We have informed the EU today that we will not extend the transition period.
“The moment for extension has now passed.
“At the end of this year we will control our own laws and borders which is why we are able to take the sovereign decision to introduce arrangements in a way that gives businesses impacted by coronavirus time to adjust.”
Britain voted to leave the EU by 52 percent to 48 percent in June 2016.
However the departure date was pushed back three times before finally taking place due to political deadlock in Westminster.
Published at Sat, 13 Jun 2020 23:37:00 +0000