Today, the government solidified its stance telling the EU for the final time that the UK will let the deadline to call for an extension pass. This means the UK has formally told the EU, the UK has no intention on remaining in the transition period and will leave in its entirety on December 31st 2020.

Mr Gove dropped the bombshell news during the Joint committee meeting between the two sides. Mr Gove said Britain regaining its sovereignty is paramount to the UK’s recovery as we come out of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Cabinet Office minister said: “We have informed the EU today that we will not extend the transition period. The moment for extension has now passed.
“At the end of the year we will control our own laws and borders, which is why we are able to take the sovereign decision to introduce arrangements in a way that gives businesses impacted by coronavirus time to adjust.
“Today’s announcement is an important step towards getting the country ready for the end of the transition period, but there is still more work to be done by both Government and industry to ensure we are ready to see the opportunities of being a fully independent United Kingdom.”
With the option to extend being removed, Brussels have now been forced to focus and intensify the negotiations over the next few months. The chief negotiator for the EU, Michel barnier, has now conceded, having to accept the fact that if the EU want a deal it has to be in place before we leave at the end of the year.
He said: “The EU has always been open to an extension of the transition period. “At today’s Joint Committee, we took note of the UK’s decision not to extend.
“We must now make progress on substance. To give every chance to the negotiations, we agreed to intensify talks in the next weeks and months.”
European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic said: “Gove was very clear, unequivocal, on the fact that the UK is not going to seek an extension.
“We take this decision as a definitive one, and therefore are pleading for acceleration on work on all fronts.
“ It comes as UK officials unveiled plans for light-touch border checks with the EU from January 1.
To help business cushion the instant effect of leaving the EU, there will be a 6 month grace period to submit the required documentation and pay for tariffs on basic items such as clothes and electronics.
For Live stock imports, health checks will be carried out away from the border.
Business bosses have been very supportive of the governments approach
Elizabeth de Jong, Policy Director at the Freight Transport Association, said: “The logistics industry is extremely grateful for the measures announced by the UK government to stage the introduction of new trading arrangements between the EU and UK in the first six months after the transition period.
“They have listened to our concerns and made allowances to enable our sector to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and plan effectively so that we can continue to trade effectively with Europe.”
Richard Burnett, Chief Executive of the Road Haulage Association commented: “This is very welcome news and we are pleased the Government has taken a sensible and pragmatic approach to the problem after listening to stakeholders such as the RHA.”

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