Voices for a Brexit Transition Extension: key statements

Voices for Transition Extension r25

Edited by Colin Gordon for Grassroots for Europe colinngordon@aol.com

This is a frequently updated listing, with key quotes, of significant  public statements  containing evidence or arguments in favour of extending the Brexit Transition period. Some emphases have been added to some quotes.

The document will continue to be updated frequently. Additional materials, contributions and corrections will be most gratefully received.


Version r25 – 23/06/2020

The clock continues to tick down.

On Monday the 22nd, as recorded on a tweeted video, Layla Moran MP introduces, on behalf of MPs in six opposition parties a Bill to force an extension of the UK/EU Withdrawal Agreement. The date set for its Second Reading is… July 10th.

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, issues a further statement calling for an extension.

The SNP sharply rebukes Keir Starmer for his failure to speak out for an extension, accusing him of continuing his predecessor’s fence-sitting on Brexit. A tweet by Michael Chessum of Another Europe is Possible records his own dismay and bewilderment on the leadership’s successive positions on the same topic.

Layla Moran writes to Matt Hancock asking the government to join in the EU’s new consortium to develop a COVID-19 vaccine; and to prolong the Transition period so the UK can benefit from its results. In other statements, Liberal Democrats and pro-Europeans challenge the government to publish updated assesments of no-deal hazards to food and pharmaceutical supplies. One major local pro-EU group, Devon for Europe, publishes a paid on-line newspaper feature advising the public on why and how to raise these issues with local MPs.

Industries, some of which have recently been conspicuously silent about Brexit, are now issuing urgent, anxious, impatient, sometimes irritated statements about the dire risks of no-deal on top of COVID-19: the UK auto industry; UK and EU shipping; pharmaceuticals and Scottish agriculture; Siemens UK. Why have industries gone public now: because they see a last hope of an extension, or the more imminent threat of no deal, or both? Mike Hawes of the auto industry’s SCCM said, “Covid has consumed every inch of capability and capacity and the industry has not the resource, the time nor the clarity to prepare for a further shock of a hard Brexit.” Some media reports suggest that UK business believes itself betrayed by Johnson’s pre-election promises of a painless deal, and that Johnson’s party knows this and is getting nervous. The non-partisan European Study Centre publishes a sober, grave restatement of the case for extending Transition and the severe risks and costs, to both UK and EU, of a no-deal outcome which looks all too likely in the absence of an extension. A report published this morning by UK in a Changing Europe spells out the heavy toll which Brexit, in various versions, threatens to impose on UK manufacturing and thereby on the wider economy – a fact which has of course been abundantly obvious for years, but can bear restating. All Brexits are bad, no deal Brexit is worst – ditto.


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