A decision is expected to be made this month on whether to extend the Brexit transition period. Not extending risks a disorderly end to the transition, adding a further economic shock to the damage done by COVID-19 – but extending exposes the UK Government to accusations of failing to deliver on its core promise to "get Brexit done". Faced with this dilemma, what are the UK Government's options?
Under the Withdrawal Agreement, any extension to the Brexit transition period (which could be for up to 2 years) must be agreed before 1 July 2020. EU leaders are scheduled to meet on 19 June and could obviously use that to discuss any proposals for an extension. However, that would not prevent further meetings taking place later in the month if negotiations on an extension went down to the wire. June is also a key date in the Political Declaration as it is the month in which the parties will "convene at a high level" to "take stock of progress" on the Brexit negotiations more widely. It is conceivable that an agreement on an extension could emerge from those discussions.