EU may limit UK’s Brexit transition to 20 months

Written by Nicholas Mairs on 27 October 2017 in News

The move could see Britain outside of the single market and customs union by the end of 2020

Michel Barnier - Image credit: European Parliament audiovisual

The European Union is drawing up plans to offer Theresa May a post-Brexit transition period of just 20 months, it has been reported.

The Prime Minister formally requested a transition window of “about two years”, as part of her Florence speech last month.

However, the move could see Britain outside the single market and customs union by December 2020, short of the spring 2021 period that was earlier expected.

While EU negotiators are yet to open talks on the future relationship, one senior source told the Guardian that they are likely to demand Britain remain in the common fisheries policy during the period, as the quotas apply to the calendar year – making a December 2020 exit a more practical solution.

The bloc’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, has also suggested the end of the transition period coincide with the end of the EU’s financial period – which concludes in 2020.

UK ministers have this week said they hope to tie up the terms of a Brexit transition agreement by the end of this year.

Jean-Claude Piris, former head of the European council’s legal service, said such a restriction could suit both parties.

“The transition period may be of any length both parties would agree in the article 50 agreement,” he said.

“I think this [20 months] would not be enough for British interests, but they have taken too much time to request such a period, while it is obvious they badly need it.”

A UK government spokesman said: “The prime minister proposed a strictly time-limited implementation period of around two years in her Florence speech and was clear in her article 50 letter that agreeing this principle early in the process would help minimise unnecessary disruption.

"This will require negotiation, and we are ready to begin that conversation as soon as the EU are.”

Categories

Related Articles

Brexit could force the UK to re-conduct animal testing, campaigners warn
16 July 2018

Lords to question Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey over the future of chemical regulation after the UK leaves the EU

Justine Greening calls for second referendum on Brexit
16 July 2018

Justine Greening said the agreement struck by the Cabinet at Chequers earlier this month represented "the worst of both worlds"

Nicola Sturgeon to become first serving prime minister or first minister to lead Pride
13 July 2018

FM will appear as honorary grand marshal at Glasgow Pride on Saturday, at the same time as US President Donald Trump is expected to arrive in Scotland

Related Sponsored Articles

Associate feature: 5 ways IoT is transforming the public sector
5 February 2018

Vodafone explores some of the ways IoT is significantly improving public sector service delivery

Share this page