First ministers say it would be ‘extraordinarily reckless’ to reject Brexit extension during pandemic

PUBLISHED: 13:10 12 June 2020 | UPDATED: 13:15 12 June 2020

First ministers of Wales and Scotland, Mark Drakeford and Nicola Sturgeon, have written to the prime minister calling for a Brexit extension; Archant

First ministers of Wales and Scotland, Mark Drakeford and Nicola Sturgeon, have written to the prime minister calling for a Brexit extension; Archant

Archant

The first ministers of Scotland and Wales have called on the government to extend Brexit trade talks to allow more time to deal with the effects of the coronavirus crisis.

Become a Supporter

Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only continue to grow with your support.

Nicola Sturgeon and Mark Drakeford wrote to the prime minister saying that leaving the talks without a deal would be “extraordinarily reckless” given the current public health emergency.

Both governments have repeatedly lobbied 10 Downing Street to prolong negotiations, which are set to end on December 31. Boris Johnson and senior ministers have ruled out any extension, even if asked by the EU. The deadline for an extension is the end of June.

You may also want to watch:

In a letter to Boris Johnson, the leaders wrote: “No-one could reproach the UK government for changing its position in the light of the wholly unforeseeable Covid-19 crisis, particularly as the EU has made it clear it is open to an extension request.

“We therefore call on you to take the final opportunity the next few weeks provide to ask for an extension to the transition period in order to provide a breathing space to complete the negotiations, to implement the outcome, and the opportunity for our businesses to find their feet after the enormous disruption of recent months.

“At the time the Withdrawal Agreement was signed, no-one could have imagined the enormous economic dislocation which the Covid-19 pandemic has caused - in Wales, Scotland, the whole of the UK, in the EU and across the world.”


The letter said that “fundamental issues” still remained between the UK and EU negotiators and it claimed that, at best, there would only be a “bare bones” trade deal in place by December.

Become a Supporter

Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press with your support. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

Become a supporter

You've seen the news, now discover the story

The New European is committed to providing in-depth analysis of the Brexit process, its implications and progress as well as celebrating European life.

Try 13 weeks for £20

Latest Articles

Most Read

latest issue

ANTI-BREXIT EVENTS

Find your nearest pro-European campaigning activities, talks, protests and events nationwide.