Boris Johnson should ask for fresh Brexit extension after Covid-19 infects talks

"Will he do it? He should. It would be smart and bold." (Image: POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

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Playing high-risk Brexit poker at the height of a coronavirus disaster is ruinously reckless when Britain holds two weak hands.

The suspension of negotiations as time runs out, though, is a potential ace for Boris Johnson. His alibi to request an extension beyond December 31.

Blame Michel Barnier if he needs, the European Union's chief negotiator isolating after one of his team caught the plague.

Invent whatever excuse provides cover but the Prime Minister must know isolating the UK from the nation's most valuable trading partners would be betting and losing the house.

Because economists, including at Goldman Sachs and the OECD, warn no deal would inflict damage more devastating than a virus triggering the gravest economic crisis for 300 years.

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

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Johnson burying his head ostrich-like in the sand, worried Tory Brextremists and Nigel Farage would scream blue murder, would be another pathetic abdication of leadership.

Yes, he led the Out campaign as a successful career move to be PM but he never expected – or really wanted? – to win that referendum.

Anyway, most of the country thinks in hindsight it was a bad idea to vote narrowly for divorce.

So postponing the negotiating deadline, if Brussels agreed, until next year would be eminently sensible and saleable.

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Unfortunately Johnson isn't rational, a cynical charlatan staggering blindly like a drunk.

Even stopped clocks are right twice a day.

Take his time to avoid a Brexit crash and clinch an agreement and he saves jobs and livelihoods.

Will he do it? He should. It would be smart and bold. Which means the No 10 incompetent almost certainly won't.

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