Responding to calls from the leader of the Scottish Nationalists and the mayor of London, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he will not make moves to extend the deadline to reach a post-Brexit deal with the European Union.
Talks with negotiators from the EU collapsed again late last week with Brussels still demanding access to British fishing waters.
French fishing fleets and ministers are particularly concerned about limited access to British waters from January 1st although Mr. Johnson has said he had a “great conversation” with his opposite number in Paris, President Emmanuel, on a restart of UK-France travel issue after a ban was recently put in place by French authorities.
A number of EU and other nations have, over the past few days initiated travel bans to and from the UK following confirmation of a variant of the coronavirus spreading quickly in southern England, and now Northern Ireland.
At present, should no further progress be made in talks with Europe, the UK will leave the European customs union and revert to World Trade Organization rules on imports and exports effective January 1st.
This an outcome the leader of the Scottish Nationalists, and First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon sees as unacceptable claiming it would be “unconscionable” if the UK did not extend its negotiating period
and left the trading block without a deal.
In 2014, the Scottish public voted 55% to 44% to remain in the United Kingdom.
Ms. Sturgeon at the same time said the recent COVID worries affecting much of the UK “demands our 100% attention” although she did not offer advice to Mr. Johnson on how he could achieve both her demands at the same time.
Taking a more pragmatic course of action, the Prime Minister said the position of the UK is “unchanged,” adding that even though “There are problems. It’s vital that everyone understands that the UK has got to be able to control its own laws completely, and also that we have got to be able to control our own fisheries.”
Mr. Johnson also said the UK would “prosper mightily”, regardless of how the UK leaves the EU.