The deadline to request an extension to the Brexit transition period is at the end of this month, in just a few days.
Unless it is extended, the transition period will end on December 31st. After this, our trading relationship will be uncertain, and all kinds of harmful outcomes will be on the table. By that time, we will not have a coronavirus vaccine and we will be reliant on Europe for medical supplies, food and other basic necessities.
The months that we have before the end of the transition period are nowhere near sufficient to negotiate a trading relationship with the world. This time pressure will mean that mistakes are made, and a lack of scrutiny applied to agreements which will have huge implications for workers’ rights, human rights, the environment and the whole structure of the UK economy.
The coronavirus is the gravest human tragedy, and the biggest economic crisis, that our society has faced in many decades.This is no time to be engaging in an adversarial negotiation with our nearest neighbour. All governments, including ours, should be throwing their efforts into cooperating to stop the virus.
If, as planned, we leave the European Medicines Agency, we may get access to vaccines and other crucial treatments much later than the rest of Europe. Leaving the European Health Insurance Card scheme will mean that many UK and EU citizens will lack health insurance coverage when they need it most.
In these final days before the deadline to request an extension to the transition period, I urge you to use your influence to:
• Push for an extension to the Brexit transition period until a vaccine is available to everyone
• Keep Britain in the European Medicines Agency
• Ensure that Britain remains a member of the European Health Insurance Card scheme