Boris Johnson‘s spokesman has insisted the government will refuse to ask the EU for an extension to the Brexit transition period, despite the rapid global spread of the potentially deadly coronavirus outbreak.

It comes as the number of cases of covid-19 continues to rise in the UK, with the chief medical officer warning on Thursday that an epidemic is looking “likely”.

Pressed on whether an outbreak of the virus could derail the talks over the future trading agreement with Brussels, and force the government to request an extension to the talks, the prime minister’s spokesman said “no”. 

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

“That work has been continuing throughout, and I’d expect it to carry on as planned – no change,” they added.

No 10 also confirmed that geographical information of coronavirus cases in the UK would continue to be updated on a daily basis – just 24 hours after the Department for Health said it would switch to a weekly format.

Appearing to confirm a u-turn on the issue, the spokesman added: “I think the prime minister and the chief medical officer have both said this morning we will provide geographic information on cases – it will be at 2pm, it will be with a 24-hour delay to make sure that all of the details are correct.”

Talks over the UK’s future trading relationship with the EU began on Monday, and are expected to alternate between government buildings in London and European Commission offices in Brussels over the coming months.

Mr Johnson has repeatedly insisted he will not request an extension to the 11-month transition period that expires in December 2020. 

More follows…

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Florida police, veterans group send off fallen vet as coronavirus puts military honors on hold

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what’s clicking on Foxnews.com. Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here. There was no military honor guard or flag-folding ceremony at the…

3 things you might have missed on impeachment

It’s the second day of Democrats laying out their case to remove President Donald Trump from office. Here are three things to know: Democrats use GOP words during Clinton against them Trump’s legal team won’t be able to lay out…

Parliament ‘failing to keep ministers in check over committee delays’

Ministers and civil servants are not being properly scrutinised by parliament because of delays in setting up select committees, senior MPs have claimed. Despite crucial Brexit policy passing through the Commons and the possibility of conflict in the Middle East,…

Government refusal to publish grooming report could be debated by MPs

The government’s refusal to publish its research into the “characteristics” of grooming gangs could be debated by MPs. More than 100,000 people have signed an official petition demanding the report is published, meaning it must be considered for debate in parliament.…