EU assumes post-Brexit transition finishes at end-2020: senior official

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union is working on the assumption that the status quo transition period after Brexit will terminate at the end of the year and not be extended, a senior official with the bloc said on Friday.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly ruled out an extension, which could by law last one or two more years from the end of 2020 but must be agreed by Britain and the remaining 27 EU states before the start of July.

“We can assume at this point that the transition period will end on December 31, 2020,” the person said under condition of anonymity.

However, the EU official added that any prolongation of the time, which is meant to negotiate a new deal between Britain and the EU on everything from trade to security, would mean London having to keep paying into the EU coffers.

The official said any agreement to extend the transition period “presupposes an agreement on continued financial participation and contribution from the UK to the EU.”

(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)