Brexit transition period

Current rules on trade, travel, and business for the UK and EU will continue to apply during the transition period until the end of 2020. This is enshrined in UK law.

Cabinet Office Ministers have informed me that our preparations for the end of the transition period continue as normal and remain a priority. The Task Force Europe team in Number 10 consists of 48 civil servants. The Unit works closely with colleagues from across Whitehall on negotiations on our future relationship with the EU.

The outbreak of COVID-19 is serious and my ministerial colleagues are doing everything they can to tackle the virus based on the latest scientific and medical advice.

I appreciate that you have concerns about the deadline but ministers have already shown that they are able to negotiate international agreements with speed and efficiency. The Withdrawal Agreement was re-opened and re-negotiated in under three months despite many believing that this would be not be possible.

I will continue to monitor how this develops and look forward to parliamentary scrutiny of negotiations. Our country, our people and our businesses need as much certainty as possible about the future. Both the UK and EU have stated their intention to reach an agreement on current timelines.

Personally, I don’t support an extension. It’s taken long enough to deliver the will of a democratic decision made in 2016. Businesses also need certainty more than ever. Ministers remain committed to continuing our negotiations with our friends and allies in the European Union.