Johnson threats of Brexit cliff-edge to demand EU deal by 2020-end

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will use the prospect of a Brexit cliff-edge at the end of 2020 to demand the European Union gives him a comprehensive free trade deal in less than 11 months.

his boldest move since winning a majority in Thursday’s election, Johnson will use his control of parliament to outlaw any extension of the Brexit transition period beyond 2020.

“Our manifesto made clear that we will not extend the implementation period and the new Withdrawal Agreement Bill will legally prohibit government agreeing to any extension,” a senior government official said on Tuesday.

After the United Kingdom leaves the European Union on Jan. 31, it enters a transition period in which it remains an EU member in all but name while both sides try to hammer out a deal on their post-Brexit relationship.

A comprehensive free trade deal would encompass everything from financial services and rules of origin to tariffs, state aid rules and fishing, though the scope and sequencing of any future deal is still up for discussion.

Sterling dropped as much as 0.7% to $1.3236 in Asia after ITV first reported the move.

Source: Reuters