John McDonnell has ruled out the notion of extending the Brexit transition period beyond March 29 2019.
European Parliament President Antonio Tajani commented on Thursday that “both sides mentioned the idea of an extension of the transition period as one possibility which is on the table”.
However, the shadow chancellor does not believe this is viable and told ITV News Political Editor Robert Peston: “Everyone I talk to now – business leaders, investors, trade union leaders – all of them are saying the uncertainty and insecurity at the moment mean that decisions are not being taken about long-term investment.”
“There is a real issue if this drags on that uncertainty drags on – we need a deal."
A sticking point in negotiations is the duration of a backstop and whether there will be a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Mr McDonell told Peston that as a Republican who believes in a United Ireland “Brexit shouldn’t be used to interfere in that process.”
- Peston is broadcast on ITV at 10.45pm on Wednesdays - but you can watch it live on this page as the programme is recorded.