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Extension to transition period for UK exit of the European Union

Volume 689: debated on Monday 8 February 2021

The petition of a resident of Twickenham,

Declares that the absence of a deal with Europe has made it impossible for businesses in the UK and in Europe to prepare properly for Brexit; further declares that there are reports from authoritative independent sources, such as, but not limited to, the Institute for Government, that parts of central and local government and other public bodies are far from ready for Brexit by the current end of the transition period, even if a deal with the European Union is agreed in coming weeks; further that this problem affects trade in goods and services with Europe and with the rest of the world where trade deals need to be renegotiated; further that it is likely that this incomplete preparation in many areas of the UK will impact the UK’s ability to meet its substantial and ongoing need to import medicines, foods and key workers from Europe and elsewhere and export goods and services to generate economic growth, employment and tax income to pay for public services and pandemic-inflicted state debts; further that it is likely this will result in substantial and easily-avoidable harm to the lives, liberties and livelihoods of UK citizens; and further that the country needs time to recover economically from the pandemic to make sufficient changes to prepare for leaving the European Union.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to take all necessary steps to persuade the European Union to recommit to the originally offered two-year extension to the transition period, to ensure that the UK has time to secure long-term trading arrangements with Europe and the rest of the world and to stabilise the state and private sectors after the effects of the pandemic so that they are ready to leave the European Union.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Munira Wilson, Official Report, 17 December 2020; Vol 686, c. 6P.]


Observation from the Paymaster General (Penny Mordaunt):

The Government have agreed a deal with the EU which fully delivers on what the British public voted for in the referendum and in last year’s general election. We delivered this great deal for the entire United Kingdom in record time, and under extremely challenging conditions. We have protected the integrity of our internal market and Northern Ireland’s place within it.

On 1 January 2021, the UK regained its political and economic independence, marking the beginning of a new chapter in our national story—out of the EU and into the world. 2021 will be our opportunity to show what global Britain means to the rest of the world: striking trade deals with new markets, reasserting ourselves as a liberal and free trading nation; and acting as a force for good in the world.

The European Union (Future Relationship) Act 2020 passed on 31 December 2020, which has made the necessary changes to UK domestic law to implement obligations under the UK/EU Trade Co-operation Agreement (TCA) and the Nuclear Cooperation Agreement (CNA).

Last July we launched a public information campaign to prepare businesses and citizens for the changes and opportunities the end of the transition period has brought. We will continue to engage with business in sectors that are most affected by our changing relationship with the EU to help them adjust and compete on a global stage, including through ministerial roundtables, sector specific calls, and the ongoing Business Brexit Task Force.