Brexit transition to end by December 2020

21 December, 2017, 00:40 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • A British worker and Theresa May

The decision is a compromise with Conservative lawmakers who last week rebelled in parliament and inflicted an embarrassing defeat on May during a debate on the legislation which will end Britain's European Union membership.

She wants to negotiate a transition deal with Brussels by March to reassure businesses and then seal a long term trade deal by October.

The cabinet did not discuss the stance of European Commission chief negotiator Michel Barnier whose vision of a trade agreement similar to that struck with Canada in 2016 differs sharply from Mrs May's demand for a bespoke United Kingdom deal delivering a "deep and special partnership".

A Downing Street spokesman said she intends to have agreement in place over a transition period by March and then complete a deal on the future relationship with the European Union including trade.

Legislation meant to smooth Britain's exit from the European Union moves a step closer to becoming law on Wednesday, as ministers begin working out what they want from Brexit.

Prime Minister Theresa May has said the "implementation period" should last for around two years, potentially taking it up to the spring of 2021.

"The transitional arrangements should apply as from the date of entry into force of the Withdrawal Agreement and should not last beyond 31 December 2020", the guidelines said.


"But the real difficulties ahead lie when the British will ask for special system of regulatory alignment - they won't get it", he said.

In a tough speech, Mr Barnier said the transition must be for a "short and specific" period.

Mr Barnier indicated he is hoping to reach an agreement on the future relationship between the United Kingdom and European Union by next October to coincide with a new treaty containing the terms of agreement on Britain's withdrawal and the transition.

The next phase comes as Barnier ruffled feathers in London yesterday with a warning that any ties after Brexit would inevitably result in Britain's financial companies losing full rights to trade across the bloc.

Leading conservative lawmaker Jacob Rees-Mogg slammed this demand as "rather hostile", leaving the United Kingdom "no more than a vassal state, a colony, a serf of the European Union".

Financial services are Britain's single biggest tax-earning sector, bringing over 70 billion pounds ($93 billion) a year into government coffers.

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