Responding to news that EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier has made clear that an extension to the Brexit transition period is possible, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:
"Even before COVID, Johnson had a tight timetable for Brexit talks. The Prime Minister’s refusal now to even consider the possibility of an extension to the Brexit transition as we face an unprecedented global health and economic crisis shows he is recklessly putting his Brexit ideology before the UK's national interest.
“It’s clear that an extension is possible and it's high time for the Conservative Government to think again.
"Boris Johnson must put the national interest first and accept the need to extend the transition period. Otherwise he threatens to pitch the country into a chaotic no deal Brexit, at a time when the economy is already in uncharted territory and millions are worried about their jobs and futures.
"This is not about rehashing debates from the past. It is about accepting a new reality brought about by the global pandemic, and that Ministers must remain entirely focused on dealing with the current crisis."