Sadiq Khan demands Brexit extension for London
Sadiq Khan has sent an angry letter to Michael Gove demanding an extension to the Brexit transition period.
The pro-Remain London Mayor insisted the “last thing” Britain needs is “more chaos and uncertainty” during the coronavirus crisis. Khan’s letter to the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster comes as the fourth round of trade talks between the UK and the EU start this week.
The London Mayor said: “No one anticipated when voting for Brexit that the key negotiations would take place at a time when all governments are rightly focused on fighting a global pandemic.
“The last thing the country needs as it tries to find a way back from the devastation wreaked by coronavirus is more chaos and uncertainty.
“I urge the Government to put political ideology aside and pursue the pragmatic route of seeking an extension to the negotiations so that we and our European partners can focus on recovery from Covid-19.”
He continued: “Further disruption, in the form of tariffs, red tape and new immigration rules when we leave the single market and customs union at the end of the year, would be needless and hazardous.
“Close regulatory alignment with the EU has never been more vital to protect our economy and support its recovery from the impacts of Covid-19.”
The London Mayor added that an extension to the December 31 2020 deadline is “urgently needed”, saying:
“An extension to the transition period is now urgently needed to give businesses and public services some certainty that they won’t face another cliff edge in six months’ time.
“Otherwise the Government risks undermining the unprecedented steps it has taken to protect jobs and livelihoods, by prolonging uncertainty about our economy and the terms on which future trade will be conducted.”