The federation that represents the British public health service (NHS) asked Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday to extend the post-Brexit transition period, as the country is in full crisis due to the appearance of a new strain of the coronavirus in the Kingdom United. Health services could escape to the “immediate danger zone”, caused by the high level of transmission of this variant of covid-19, if the transitional period, which ends on December 31, could be delayed for at least one month, according to the letter sent by the NHS Confederation to the ‘premier’.
If this period is extended, during which European rules continue to be applied in the country, “the NHS will be able to continue to focus on the fight against the pandemic without having to face the disruptive changes engendered by a lack of agreement,” the NHS Confederation stressed. one of the organizations represented by the British health service, which describes the exit outside the EU as “one of the greatest challenges in its history, during a period that is traditionally the busiest of the year”.
About 19,000 people with COVID-19 are currently hospitalized in the UK, which is close to the level of the first wave last spring. The country, which began a mass vaccination program at the beginning of December, has suffered more than 68,000 deaths from the pandemic, one of the most terrible toll in Europe.
Less than ten days before the end of the transition period and the UK’s exit from the European single market, London and Brussels remain mired in agonizing negotiations over the future of their commercial relationship. Officially, if there is no agreement on December 31, both parties will cease to abide by rules agreed bilaterally ‘ipso facto’, and must submit to those dictated by the World Trade Organization (WTO), of which both territories are members.