Britain stands by Brexit transition period ending on Dec. 31, PM's spokesman says

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Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds a news conference in London

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will end a transition period with the European Union on Dec. 31, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday, after Scotland's first minister called on the leader to extend it because of complications from the new COVID strain.

"Our position on the transition period is clear ... It will end on Dec. 31, that remains our position," he told reporters.

"We need to ratify any agreement ahead of Jan. 1, which means time is in short supply and that's why our negotiators continue to work hard."

(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; editing by James Davey)