The overwhelming majority of Express.co.uk readers believe the Prime Minister should not seek an extension to the transition period beyond December 31 amid the COVID-19 outbreak. The survey of more than 15,000 readers has found almost nine-in-ten people believe the UK and the EU should adhere to the current timetable to agree upon a future trading relationship. The poll conducted on Tuesday March 31 between 8.33am and 10.00pm asked 15,548 people “Should Brexit be delayed due to coronavirus outbreak?”.
A huge 89 percent (13,808) believed there should not be a delay and voted no.
Just 10 percent of participants (1,573) said there should be a delay and voted yes.
Meanwhile one percent (167) readers remained unsure and voted don’t know.
A number of Express.co.uk let their feeling known in the comments section and insisted there has already been too many delays and a further extension would hit UK taxpayers in the pocket.
One user wrote: “There is no advantage to be gained by delay, in fact there is much to be lost including more contributions from UK taxpayers.
“After the present health crisis we need to be looking forward, not looking back or trying to have a foot in both camps.”
A second reader said: “The EU agreed the timetable it’s their problem if they now think it’s not long enough, and guess what if they were given an extension that to wouldn’t be long enough either, all they want is to keep the UK tied to them and of course keep the money coming in.”
A third angry user wrote: “No deals or delays just get Brexit done and dusted no more delays.”
Meanwhile a fourth simply said: “NO, NO, and NO again.”
Downing Street has constantly reiterated the UK would not seek a delay and the legal text state Britain will end the transition period on December 31.
However talks between the UK and Brussels have hit a huge stumbling block as the global health crisis continues to escalate.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is the latest high profile figure to be been struck down by COVID-19 and has been self-isolating since last Friday.
Britain’s Brexit negotiator David Frost has also had a period of self-isolation, meanwhile EU chief Michel Barnier was also diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier this month.
Across Europe there are more than 330,000 infections reported on the continent and nearly 21,000 deaths.
David McAllister, the EU Parliament’s UK trade co-ordinator, said Brussels is ready to extend the transition period.
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He said: “The EU has always been open to extending the transition period. The ball is now clearly in the British court.
“The United Kingdom would have to submit an official request.
“So far, the UK government has constantly rejected such an option. Under the current circumstances, London should carefully re-examine a prolongation.”
On Monday, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said: “We have shared legal texts and they are the subject of informal discussions between ourselves and the EU commission.
“I would expect those sorts of conversations to be carrying on this week.
“The structure of the negotiations has changed to reflect the current situation with regard to coronavirus, so there are more continuous discussions taking place rather than the set rounds which were originally envisaged.”
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