Devolved governments join Northern Ireland in calling for a Brexit extension

PUBLISHED: 16:21 04 June 2020 | UPDATED: 16:21 04 June 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson greets EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen ahead of a meeting in Downing Street. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson greets EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen ahead of a meeting in Downing Street. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

Governments in Scotland and Wales have joined the Northern Ireland assembly in pressing Westminster to seek an extension to Brexit trade talks.

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Holyrood has claimed continuing the transition period for two years would boost Scotland’s economy by up to £1.8 billion.

Scottish cabinet minister Michael Russell claimed there was a “growing common-sense coalition” pushing for an extension.

“I believe there is a growing common-sense coalition to press for an extension to avoid such a disastrous outcome and the needless damage it would do to Scottish jobs and our economy,” he said.

Welsh politicians are also calling for a prolonging of negotiations.

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First minister Mark Drakeford told Boris Johnson in a letter that it seemed “simply implausible to continue the negotiations to the timeframe originally envisaged, under these circumstances”.

The Northern Ireland assembly recently voted to extend Brexit trade talks on the grounds the UK should focus on the coronavirus crisis first.

British negotiators have entered the final round of Brexit talks before June 30 - the final day any party can legally seek to lengthen trade discussions.

Johnson is expected to speak with the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, about negotiations in a visit to Brussels later in the month.

Any delay would require a vote in the Houses of Parliaments before it heads to the European Council for approval.

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