Brexit talks extended: When is Brexit transition deadline?

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Brexit trade talks reached what many experts claimed as a potential end with both sides claiming the other is unwilling to compromise earlier this month. However, trade talks restarted on Thursday last week right before the UK signed its first free trade agreement with Japan. But when exactly is the Brexit transition deadline?

Britain formally left the European Union at 11pm GMT on January 31.

However, this did not mean the official end of Brexit.

Instead, the UK began an 11-month transition period which meant the country was bound to the EU’s current rules until the terms for the UK’s independence were agreed.

During the transition period, the UK would remain bound in both the EU customs union and single market, which means until the transition period ends most things will remain the same.

Talks restarting between the EU and UK last week prompted optimism about a new deal.

The EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier will remain in the UK until Wednesday, October 28 according to a Downing Street source.

Mr Barnier was originally due to leave the UK on Sunday.

However, extending these talks has been seen as a “good sign” for those hoping an agreement will be reached by the end of the year.

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said the extended talks were “a very good sign” a deal can be done.

He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show: “We have got to make sure it is a deal that works, not just for our partners in Europe… but one that works for the United Kingdom.”

He added: “The EU needs to understand it is for them to move as well, so that we can get a deal that works for the UK as well – a proper free trade agreement that recognises us as the UK being a sovereign nation.”

A source said Mr Barnier’s decision to remain in London was partly due to the difficulty of making UK negotiators travel to Brussels for further talks planned this week amid soaring rates of coronavirus in the Belgian capital.

But a Whitehall source told the Telegraph the EU “seem to have acknowledged that it is more of a two-way street. There is now a possibility we might be able to get there with a meaningful process”.

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One source added solutions had been agreed on “90 percent plus” of the areas making up an agreement.

However, the two sides remain at loggerheads on two key issues: fisheries and the so-called level playing field.

The “state-aid” rules which limit the Government’s help for industry in the name of enduring fair competition has been a key area of contention.

Lord David Frost, the UK’s chief negotiator, suggested the UK could agreed the “principles” for how subsidies are spent, an idea which was welcomed by Mr Barnier last week.

The UK and EU are also endeavouring to agree how much European fishing boats should be able to catch in British waters.

The EU has thus far resisted UK demands to annual talks about stock limits, as well as a reduction in access for its vessels to British fishing grounds.

The EU previously said a deal must be agreed by the end of October to allow time enough for the deal to be ratified by all the relevant parliaments.

However, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned the UK would walk away from talks if an agreement was not reached by October 15.

News about Mr Barnier’s extended stay in the UK prompted a boost in the value of the pound.

However, many experts are still urging the Government to continue working towards a deal to avoid a no-deal scenario which could drive up inflation and cause a rise in prices for imported goods.

Logistics UK chief executive David Wells told the Sunday Times: “Everyday household items we import will become more expensive under World Trade Organisation tariffs, some by 30 percent or more.

“This will make the household shopping basket much more expensive, particularly in the early part of 2021 when we rely on imports for much of our fresh food.”

When is the Brexit transition deadline?

When the UK formally left the European Union in January, it was agreed the transition period would end on December 31, 2020.

This date will not change.

If a new deal is not reached, the UK will trade with the EU on World Trade Organisation rules.

This would mean most UK goods would be subject to tariffs until a free trade agreement was ready to be implemented.

The deadline for extending the transition period has now passed which means it will not change.

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