Britain Formally Says ‘No’ to Brexit Extension

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Britain and the European Union do not appear to be much if any closer to a comprehensive deal that could replace the last half century of free movement and trade afforded by Union membership, but there will be no further extensions before Britain leaves it all behind.

A day after the Bank of England warned that the middle of a pandemic is the worst possible time to impose trade barriers, British officials informed their European counterparts that they will definitely exit the European customs union on December 31st.

Or will they?

It appears the Bank of England's warning didn't entirely fall on deaf ears because Boris Johnson plans to have his cake and eat it, but the Union may not play along.

EU officials were ready to extend talks for up to two years, until 2023, to help businesses cope with the fundamental change in links which have been in place for nearly 50 years.

But Britain conceded Friday that the added economic pressures of the coronavirus crisis -- the UK economy shrank by a fifth between March and April, according to new data -- meant that businesses needed some temporary relief.

To help, London said it would allow UK companies to delay submitting customs declarations and making tariff payments on their exports to EU nations for up to six months, until July 2021.

EU officials announced no reciprocal reprieve for exports from the 27 member states to Britain.

I don't think you have to be a fortune teller to immediately see what's going to happen. Johnson is still trying to engineer another way he can blame the European Union for the negative consequences of a no-deal Brexit by challenging them not to enforce their own laws once it finally happens.

This could conceivably continue forever if the Union doesn't finally put their foot down and make average Britons deal with the consequences of their disastrous vote for a Brexit in the first place. These are the same people who affirmed that decision by giving Boris Johnson an even bigger governing majority in the last election.

Here in America, we're paying our own prices for letting Trump into the White House. It past time for western societies to reckon with our apathy.

  • KanaW

    We in the UK were fucked the moment Cameron decided to have the referendum on a simple majority of those who decided it was in their interest to actually vote on something that would destroy their lives in the end.

    Those who voted Leave as a Protest Against The Government (yeah, I see you, too Jill Stein voters), those who voted to Protect Our Fishermen (who were already selling their fishing licenses to EU boats), those who Want a Blue Passport and those who just couldn’t be bothered to vote because It Would Never Happen are all either keeping very quiet now or are pretending that this clusterfuck is exactly what they wanted in the first place.

    I despair.

    I’m over here mostly because I have diabetes and I can afford medical care, but when this goes through I’ll have a hard decision to make, because the first thing the Tories in Power will do is take out the NHS. They’ve already weakened it horribly, and that’s with the few limits on their power we still managed to eke out.

  • muselet

    Once again, the EU has tried to save the UK from itself, only to find its efforts thwarted by Boris Johnson.

    At some point, the EU will stop throwing life preservers to Johnson and simply let him slip beneath the waves.