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Alliance joins call from opposition parties for Brexit extension

Alliance MP Stephen Farry has signed a cross-party letter to the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier, outlining serious concerns for the economy from the limited capacity of the UK Government to conclude a viable future relationship agreement with the European Union by the end of December, especially now in the context of the Covid 19 crisis.

Dr Farry – the Party’s Brexit Spokesperson – added his name alongside the SNP, Plaid Cymru, SDLP and the Liberal Democrats.
Stephen Farry stated: “This is not about Remain v Leave, but rather about getting things right.

“The end of December deadline was always going to be very challenging, but it is next to impossible during this Covid-19 crisis. Government’s full attention must be on handling the pandemic and assisting the recovery. The bandwidth of the business community is already fully taken, with no space for proper Brexit planning.

“Any decision to seek an extension must be taken by the UK Government before the end of June. Time is of the essence.

“Any bad deal or even worse no future relations deal at all will bring massive implications for the UK economy overall but also particular challenges for Northern Ireland. While the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol is required to be implemented from January 1, onwards in all scenarios, the harder the Brexit then the more severe the Irish interface will be.

“Alliance will continue to press the Johnson Government to act responsibly around the Brexit negotiations and the necessity of an extension.”