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We have until July to ask Europe for more time. How firm is that deadline?

Legal experts are divided on the plausibility of a last-minute transition extension

By Alex Dean  

Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier. Photo: Claire Doherty/SIPA USA/PA Images

Britain has left the European Union and entered a standstill transition period. We now have only months to negotiate future terms before we face a second cliff-edge. No sophisticated trade deal has ever been done so quickly—so we urgently need more time.

The Withdrawal Agreement struck with the EU says that if the UK lodges a request by July then an extension is possible. Yet the prime minister Boris Johnson is bullish about not extending: it has even…

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