Government wrong to deny Brexit extension
Responding to reports the UK Government will tell the EU on Friday it is not going to seek an extension to the Brexit transition period, Brighton & Hove Lib Dems member Caroline Brown, who last month joined with Grassroots for Europe to write to Hilary Benn as chair of the Brexit Committee in the wake of Michael Gove's appearance before them, said:
"We are careering towards a No Deal end to the transition period on 31st December, while struggling with the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and a possible second wave of infections.
"Oral evidence given by Michael Gove and David Frost to select committees on 27th & 28th May revealed that it will be impossible for the UK and EU to wrap up complex and difficult negotiations by September, when 27 countries must review and ratify the proposed deal.
"With businesses struggling to cope amid the coronavirus pandemic, the last thing they need is to be forced to adapt to a sudden and costly change in rules under which they can operate. Many will simply be unable to cope.
"Sir Ed Davey has tabled a motion, calling for a 2-year extension, which Labour is refusing to support."
Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said:
"Food shortages, medicine shortages, and an unprecedented hit to jobs and livelihoods: that is what the UK is facing if we crash out of the EU without a deal.
"Boris Johnson's ideological stubbornness will see the most vulnerable in our country hit hardest.
"With the country is already struggling as a result of Covid-19, it beggars belief that the Government are happy to pile Brexit on top of this already devastating situation.
"Liberal Democrats will continue to urge the Government to think again and extend the transition period."