Ian Blackford argued directly after Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s address to the nation on coronavirus that Brexit still needs to be delayed. The SNP leader said his proposition has significant support across the country as battling the COVID-19 pandemic needs to put first before any further political uncertainty. Sky News host Mark Austin asked: “Do you accept now you’ve lost the argument over extending the transition period, the Prime Minister is simply not going to delay that?”
Mr Blackford said: “No, not at all. A number of other opposition parties in Westminster have joined us.
“We are in a health crisis which has triggered an economic crisis.
“We all must put in place measures to get the economy back on the right footing as early as we can do so.
“The last thing we need is the uncertainty of a no deal or a bad deal Brexit at the end of the transition period in December.
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“All of our efforts should be about this crisis and then we can have discussions about what our future will be with the EU.
“But we should be parking that for now and I believe that is a proposition that has significant support around the country.”
Boris Johnson and his Government has repeatedly insisted there would be no need for a Brexit trade talk extension.
Earlier this week during the daily coronavirus briefing Environment Secretary George Eustice reaffirmed this.
Mr Eustice said: “We’re still going ahead with it.
“Brexit, in fact, is something that has already happened.
“We left the European Union at the end of January.
“We have a transition period that ends at the end of this year.”
Despite these assurances from the Government, the Director of UK in a Changing Europe, Anand Menon, argued the EU continues to grow frustrated with the UK.
While speaking to Reuters Institute, Mr Menon said the European Union was irritated at the UK ignoring the bloc’s key priorities.
He explained this could lead to further tensions as the European Union feels the UK is not taking its obligations in the trade talks seriously.