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30th June 2020, 20:09

Deadline for extension to Brexit transition period expires today

Tuesday 30th is the last day in which the UK could have requested an extension to the Brexit transition period – which will now definitively end on the 31st of December, deal or no deal. It comes as the UK and EU begin face-to-face talks towards achieving a trade deal, in a bid to "intensify" negotiations.

Earlier this month, Cabinet Office Minister, Michael Gove said the UK had formally confirmed it would not seek an extension. The decision has been criticised by Opposition MPs, who say a no-deal Brexit would compound the country’s economic problems given the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The BBC reports, face-to-face negotiations between the UK and EU have begun in Brussels towards trying to reach a trade deal, following remote discussions throughout the pandemic. The talks are set to go on all week, with the European Commission saying the aim is to “intensify” negotiations in order to reach a deal.

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, said he believes there is a “very good” chance of achieving a trade deal in the remaining six months before the deadline – a deal that would also have to be ratified before the end of December. However, earlier this month, the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said there had been “no significant areas of progress” on contentious issues – with the UK negotiator, David Frost, adding the EU had to change its “unrealistic positions” in order to move forward.