Penny Mordaunt sends Barnier in a panic after saying “no point” in striking a last-minute agreement

Penny Mordaunt stated there would be “no point” in striking a last-minute agreement as it would leave businesses scrambling to prepare for the changes. The paymaster general noted the UK is currently pushing for negotiations on relations to be speeded up. Eurocrats will be told on Friday that Britain will not agree to extend the transition period.

She explained: “There is no point in us arriving at an arrangement in the 11th hour. We must arrive at an agreement to allow it to be implemented, ratified, but also for businesses and our taxpayers to prepare.
“This is dictating the timetable here. That’s why we must have a renewed focus.
“We’re talking to the EU about a change of format, about how we could raise the speed of discussions, get the focus where we want it to function as getting a deal done for both of our sakes.”
Michael Gove and the Cabinet Office minister, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, will hold talks on Friday on a Brexit committee with their EU counterparts.
Ms Mordaunt said, “Despite the political bluster” from Brussels during the transitions talks she believes there is “good faith” on either side.
But she explained the present demands by the bloc could “bind us” to EU law and would be “completely unacceptable”.
She insisted Britain “will not be barrelling off a cliff edge” if negotiations fall since businesses will have the time to get ready for leaving on world trade terms.
“We’ve now reached a significant moment for all these discussions,” she said.
She said it was in the interest of the UK and EU to achieve a deal to permit economies to recuperate swiftly from the coronavirus crisis.
Tory former cabinet ministers warned that companies would need to be prepared for the impact of leaving the single market and customs union.
ExNorthern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith said many firms “have not realised the implications” of coming out of this single market and also the customs union and the government “can begin preparing them for this reality”.
Former Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers said “whatever the results of the negotiations” modifications will come into force on January 1 and companies must be prepared.

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