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Ministers promise agreement for Brexit transition period by end of March

29 January, 2018, 11:09 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Brexit latest Tony Blair Europe UK EU Davos Brexit deal

Brexit Minister David Davis will set out Britain's approach to a post-EU membership transition period, the BBC's political editor said on Thursday (25 January), writes Guy Faulconbridge.

Brexit minister David Davis sought to reassure eurosceptics on Friday (Jan 26) that Britain will forge its own path outside the European Union, but admitted there were "different views" in the government after a senior colleague advocated close trading ties. "These provide manufacturers with essential ingredients which often can't be sourced here or which we do not have the capacity to produce", the spokesperson said.

"And we agree on the need to base this period on the existing structure of rules and regulations", he said.

"There are people that want us to sever our trade links with Europe and give up this market, we reject their arguments too".

The UK will insist on its right to negotiate trade deals with third countries during the transition, although these would not come into force until the end of the period.

Common rules and regulations would still apply, European Union citizens would continue to be able to live and work in Britain and global accords like free trade agreements would remain in the place, the letter said. Speaking to business leaders over lunch in Davos, he also risked a joke at May's expense, mocking her ill-fated decision to call an early election past year.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May's office slapped down Philip Hammond for saying he hoped Brexit would bring only modest changes, after his comments enraged the euroskeptic lawmakers May needs to stay in her job.

"Whilst we want a deep and special economic partnership with the European Union after we leave, these could not be described as very modest changes", the Downing Street source said.

In particular, Rees-Mogg, who drew large crowds at last year's party conference and topped a recent poll of Conservative members for who should be party's next leader, stressed that Britain must leave the customs union: an issue on which Brexiters fear there has been backsliding inside government.

But backbencher Andrew Percy tweeted: "Oh put a sock in it Phil. Getting a bit sick of "Freelancing Phil" mocking other Cabinet Ministers and writing his own Brexit policy. That doesn't mean we can't have a coherent and forceful view in the interests of the United Kingdom".

Ms Villiers is the latest senior Conservative to voice concerns about the direction of negotiations, with leading Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg warning Theresa May earlier this week that if she delivers "Brexit in name only" with a status quo transition period, the Conservatives will lose the next election.

David Cameron caught saying Brexit is a mistake not a disaster.

All of which might, it seems, come as quite a shock to many people in Britain who appear to have been comforting themselves, of late, with the idea that Brexit will never really happen; or that if it does, it will come in a form that can be sold to voters as Brexit, but will in fact be nearly unnoticeable.

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