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Pound drops on reports UK PM to rule out extending Brexit transition period

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to unveil new legislation that would rule out an extension to the transition period that begins once Britain exits the European Union on Jan. 31, 2020, media outlets reported.

The transition period, which would effectively treat the U.K. as a non-voting EU member while the two parties work out a post-Brexit trade deal, is set to run until the end of 2020. The period can be extended by up to two years if agreed on by the U.K. and the EU before July 1, 2020, according to the Financial Times.

But amendments to the Brexit bill that will be put forward to a vote at the House of Commons on Dec. 20 will remove the option for an extension, whether or not the U.K. and the EU have reached a trade deal by the end of the transition period, ITV News reported.

Sterling dropped 0.4% against the dollar to $1.3282 as of 9:30 p.m. ET on Dec. 16. The euro rose 0.4% against the pound to 83.9 pence around the same time.

Johnson's Conservative Party won its largest majority since 1987 in the snap election held Dec. 12, paving the way for the prime minister to get his Brexit deal ratified in parliament and lead the U.K. out of the EU at the end of next month.