IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva | Samuel Corum/Getty Images
IMF chief to UK: Don’t make life ‘tougher’ by sticking to Brexit deadline
With the world in a period of ‘unprecedented uncertainty,’ Kristalina Georgieva says: ‘Let’s not make it any tougher.’
Updated 4/16/20, 8:46 AM CET
The U.K. would be “wise” not to add to current economic uncertainty by ruling out an extension to Brexit trade talks, the International Monetary Fund’s Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said.
The Brexit transition period during which the U.K. remains a member of the EU’s customs union and single market is due to end on December 31.
A decision on whether to extend that date is due in June, but the U.K. government has so far said it will stick to the timeline despite pressure from a range of sectors to extend the deadline. The trade talks themselves have been largely stalled for weeks, with attention focussed on the COVID-19 crisis.
Georgieva told the BBC in an interview broadcast Thursday that because of the “unprecedented uncertainty” it would be “wise not to add more on top of it.”
“I really hope that all policymakers everywhere would be thinking about [reducing uncertainty]. It is tough as it is, let’s not make it any tougher,” she said.
On the specific question of whether the trade talks should be extended, Georgieva said: “My advice would be to seek ways in which this element of uncertainty is reduced in the interests of everybody, the U.K.,