Brexit is the LAW! Downing Street REJECTS plea for talks extension - Sturgeon skewered

Britain’s chief negotiator David Frost and EU counterpart resumed discussions by video call as they raced to strike an agreement before the December 31 deadline. Scotland’s government seized on the meeting to call for the transition to be extended by two years to take account of the coronavirus crisis. But No 10 insisted Holyrood had been consulted all the way through the Brexit process and said it was a “matter of UK law” that current arrangements terminate at the end of the year.

“The transition period ends on December 31,” Boris Johnson’s spokesman said.

“The Prime Minister has made it clear he has no intention of changing that.”

Mr Frost said last week that Britain will not ask to extend the transition and “will say no” if the EU asks for a delay because it would create more uncertainty and leave the UK bound by Brussels at “a time when we need to control our own affairs”.

Future trade relations in goods and services will dominate negotiations every day but agreeing new terms on fishing rights is also high on the agenda.

Officials will also look at how arrangements on law enforcement, energy and social security should operate.

Downing Street said it expects the latest round of Brexit negotiations to be "constructive".

Top level talks will be held in June to allow leaders to decide if enough progress has been made or if the UK is on course to leave on world trade rules instead.

The spokesman said: "This week we expect further constructive talks with the aim of making progress ahead of June, building on the talks to date which have identified the major areas where we agree and disagree.”

The next round of negotiations will begin on May 11.

Britain is pushing for a comprehensive free trade agreements to allow goods to be traded without tariffs or restrictions.

Fishing is expected to be a flashpoint in the talks with Brussels calling for the same access for many years while the government wants annual negotiations to decide on rights.

READ MORE: Brexit MUST be delayed for two years - shock demand 

And at the weekend constitutional expert David Bailey said an extension had to be asked by Boris before June.

The senior fellow at UK in Changing Europe, told "In terms of the Brexit timetable, the UK Government hasn until the end of June to end for an extension.

"It was interesting that when the Chancellor was asked about that he was adamant that the UK is still on track to leave by the end of 2020.

"It's very difficult to see how that is going to be possible seeing that all the effort of the Government is going into trying to fight the coronavirus and economic impacts of that.

"It's difficult to see how detailed trade discussions can continue in that circumstance with the European Union."

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