April 16, 2020 2:55 PM

No 10 risks double economic hit by ruling out transition extension

The government today said it would stick to its 31st December deadline for leaving the transition period. 

The Prime Minister's spokesperson said: “We will not ask to extend the transition period and if the EU asks we will say no.” His comments were made on the same day the International Monetary Fund's Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, told the BBC it would be"wise" not to add to the current economic uncertaintyby ruling out an extension to Brexit trade talks.

Downing Street's comment on extension today can be found here.

Commenting, Best for Britain CEO Naomi Smith said:

"By attempting to complete talks with the EU at the same time as dealing with coronavirus, the government risks doing both jobs badly.

"Right now we cannot afford to split our focus. At the same time, there is simply not enough time to negotiate a full trade deal between the EU and Britain.

"Without a full trade deal, and without an extension to the transition period, the country faces a double whammy of a painful no-deal Brexit at the same time as a coronavirus-induced recession.

"That would be unfair on everyone who is currently making huge sacrifices, particularly businesses struggling to stay afloat while paying their employees."

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