‘Let’s not make it any tougher’ - IMF urges Johnson government to extend Brexit transition period

PUBLISHED: 12:06 16 April 2020 | UPDATED: 12:06 16 April 2020

Boris Johnson at the latest PMQs in the House of Commons with Priti Patel, Matt Hancock and Michael Gove Photograph: Parliament TV.

Boris Johnson at the latest PMQs in the House of Commons with Priti Patel, Matt Hancock and Michael Gove Photograph: Parliament TV.

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has urged the British government to ask for a longer Brexit transition period due to the impact that the coronavirus is having on the government.

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Kristalina Georgieva, head of the IMF, warned that “it is tough as it is. Let’s not make it any tougher.

She said: “I really hope that all policymakers everywhere would be thinking about [reducing uncertainty]. It is tough as it is, let’s not make it any tougher.”

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Asked whether there should be an extension to trade talks, she said: “My advice would be to seek ways in which this element of uncertainty is reduced in the interests of everybody, of the UK, of the EU, the whole world”.


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Georgieva had previously backed Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, warning a no-deal Brexit would hit the UK economy by 5%.

The transition period is currently due to end on 31st December, and Boris Johnson’s government has ruled out extending the time period beyond this period of time.

Privately EU officials have warned the UK that Brexit is no longer the focus for the bloc, with its coronavirus response now the priority.

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