Portsmouth MP Penny Mordaunt says Brexit transition period will not be extended

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THE UK’s departure from the European Union will not be delayed any further, a city MP has said – but negotiations must speed up.

Speaking in the House of Commons this week, Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt told the house that talks between the UK and EU have hit a roadblock on key issues.

While the UK officially left the EU in January this year, there is a transition period until the start of 2021, to iron out additional arrangements.

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Discussions were held between UK and EU representatives last week, via video conference.

Paymaster general and Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt. Picture: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty ImagesPaymaster general and Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt. Picture: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images
Paymaster general and Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt. Picture: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images
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Law enforcement, fisheries and more were discussed in what the Portsmouth MP described as ‘full and constructive’ talks.

But with neither side willing to budge on key issues, she fears businesses will be short on time to prepare for the new measures at the end of this year.

Crucially, she says, the transition period for the UK’s departure will not be extened.

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‘We’ll push the EU on implementing their obligations,’ she said.

‘If we’ve learned anything over the last few years it’s that all this would do is extend the negotiations; businesses and our citizens want certainty about the future.’

Tomorrow, Ms Mordaunt will sit on the second meeting of the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee.

The UK voted to leave the EU by 52 per cent to 48 per cent in 2016.

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In Portsmouth, 58.1 per cent of residents voted in favour of Brexit.

Ms Mordaunt, who also serves as paymaster general, said: ‘There was no movement on the most difficult areas where differences of principle are at their most acute, most notably fisheries and the so-called level playing field.

‘We have now reached an important moment for these talks. To make progress we need to accelerate and intensify our work, and the government is working closely with the EU to achieve that.

‘We have always been clear that such a deal must accomodate the reality of the UK’s well-established position and fully recognise the UK as a sovereign equal.’

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