Cliff Mitchell - 19/05/2020

Pause the Transition Period

Let's focus on beating COVID-19

Pause the Transition Period
Avoid a No Deal Brexit


We are heading for a no deal Brexit. At the end of the year the transition period ends and, unless we have agreed a comprehensive trade deal with the EU, we will be forced to trade on disastrous WTO terms.

Negotiations are curently stalled, with no agreement in sight and very little time left. We have until June 30 to request an extension to the transition period. An extension would allow the UK government to focus on fighting COVID-19 now, and buy more time to negotiate a proper trade deal that protects Staffordshire jobs and businesses.

COVID-19 is already wreaking havoc on our economy and putting enormous strain on our NHS. Yet the government is continuing to insist that they will walk away from trade negotiations with the EU if no agreement is reached by the end of June.

Even if a trade deal is in place, and tariffs are kept to a minimum, there is still the issue of borders. At a time of international crisis our government will be actively choosing to put an end to frictionless trade with the EU, the world’s biggest single trading bloc, and our most important trading partner. Deal or no deal, the outcome will be an end to freedom of movement for both people and goods.

The planned timing for ending the transition period and truly leaving the EU could not be worse.

  • Scientists and medical experts are warning that the UK, and the EU, will still be tackling the impacts of Covid-19 at the start of 2021.
  • Brand new border controls would be introduced before retailers and freight companies have had time to get over the holiday rush.
  • Companies are already warning that because of Covid-19 they will not be able to stockpile as they would otherwise have done in preparation for leaving the EU.

This isn't about Brexit. It isn’t about whether you voted leave or remain. This is about doing what is in the national interest and the interest of the people of Staffordshire.

What can I do?Protect our NHS image

  1. Sign the Petition

    The European Movement UK is campaigning to maintain European rights, standards and values post-Brexit. We need to send a strong message that we, the people, are holding the government to account.

    Sign and share the European Movement’s petition to delay Brexit and focus on tackling Covid-19.

  2. Help fund our campaigns – Crowdfunder

The combination of a No Deal Brexit and Covid-19 will have a devastating impact on our NHS and our economy. Chip in to stop a No Deal Brexit. We are 100% people-powered and all of our work is funded by donations from people like you. You can contribute to our Crowdfunder here.

We can cut through the right-wing media machine if our voice is loud enough. We are ready to fight back and challenge the narrative. We cannot allow a catastrophic No Deal Brexit to destroy our NHS, our economy, and to risk lives.

  1. Find out more

The UK’s last chance to request an extension to the transition is just a few weeks away, on 30th June. The government needs to act now. Join us in putting pressure on the government to agree an extension to the transition period and delay Brexit. To find out why this is so important check out this link and then share with you friends and contacts.

  1. Contact your MP

A face-to-face meeting with your MP is very effective and, even if that’s not possible, many MPs are holding virtual surgeries during the current crisis. See if you can get an appointment.

Failing that write a letter or email your MP. Contact details for all Staffordshire MP’s can be found here.

A short, personlised message is all that is required. The amount of correspondence an MP gets does make a difference, and if its customised, rather than a template letter, it will have even more impact.

Some of the key points you might want to include are:

  • The economy of the West Midlands will shrink by up to 13% without a EU trade deal according to the government’s own figures. This will lead to job losses and hardship across Staffordshire.
  • Farmers will be particularly badly hit due to the loss of European markets, tariffs on our farm exports and an influx of low cost imports.
  • A majority of people in the U.K. support extending the transition period. But this isn’t about Brexit. It isn’t about who voted leave or remain. It is about doing what is in the national interest.
  • We are currently experiencing the worst public health crisis in over a century. The outbreak of COVID-19 has had a huge impact on our NHS and our economy, leaving many of us financially vulnerable.
  • The International Monetary Fund has calculated that leaving without a deal would add a further, permanent loss of 5% to the UK’s GDP - and this is on top of the Office of Budget Responsibility predicting a 35% shrink to the economy in the second quarter because of damage already inflicted by Coronavirus. This means thousands of jobs in Staffordshire are at risk of being lost.
  • Our doctors and nurses are on the front line, fighting this virus everyday. They are risking their lives to protect the public. Please support an extension to the Brexit transition period, so we can focus on getting the best deal possible and protecting our frontline workers in the NHS.
  • What is becoming increasingly clear to us is that the NHS just will not cope with both the effects of a No Deal Brexit and COVID- 19.
  • Leaving the European Union without a deal in place would cause:
    • Delays in importing medicines and other essential medical equipment, including vital personal protective equipment.
    • A weakening of the public health response, including the response to pandemics when we leave EU schemes without agreeing to partnerships with crucial EU bodies.
    • Disruption of patient care due to the ending of reciprocal healthcare agreements.
  1. Contact your local media

Write to your local paper

The aim is to reach out to those in your local community who may be open to persuasion. It is surprising how many are not aware of some of the basic arguments or the damage that will be done to the Staffordshire economy by a no deal exit from the transition period.

Keep it short - within about 250 words. Put forward three basic points, for example:

  • We must pause the Brexit transition in order to focus on fighting COVID-19.
  • Our NHS and our economy cannot cope with both a No Deal Brexit and Covid19 at the same time.
  • The people of Staffordshire will be 13% worse off trading on WTO terms according to the government’s own figures.

We only have until June imageEmail/phone-in/Tweet local and national radio

Local radio and TV stations are always keen to hear from listeners/viewers, either by phone-in, or Twitter, email, Facebook, etc. Listen in to appropriate talk shows and note down their contact details. Alternatively, google the station and find their contact details including Twitter feeeds, Facebook pages, email address. They may have differenct contact details for different shows so pick a topical talk show as your target.

Prepare one main point you want to get across and have another 2 or 3 ready as follow-ups. If you can relate it to your personal situation even better - for example if you work in the NHS you can talk about the impact the pandemic is already having on patients and how a No Deal Brexit will compound these problems.

  1. Social Media

Use all of your social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, etc to reach out to your contacts and ask them to sign the petition, write letters, or contribute a small amount to our Crowdfunder. Retweet our Staffs4E Tweets and share our Staffs4Europe Facebook posts.


We are heading for a no deal Brexit. At the end of the year the transition period ends and, unless we have agreed a comprehensive trade deal with the EU, we will be forced to trade on disastrous WTO terms.

Time is short and every little bit helps – YOU can make a real difference. Please support our campaign in any and every way you can.

If you want more information on how you can help you can contact us here or by email at Better still become a supporter here.

Thank you!

and the European Movement UK



Cliff Mitchell, Staffs4Europe Steering Group
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