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25 October 2017

Financial Times: David Davis says UK expects to strike post-Brexit transition deal by early 2018

David Davis told MPs on Wednesday that he expects Britain and the EU to agree early next year on terms of the transition period that will follow Britain’s formal separation from the bloc, offering a more optimistic view than his EU counterpart.

Theresa May’s top Brexit negotiator said the UK is keen to make sure British businesses face only one Brexit inspired change and not two, adding that the transition that begins in March 2019 should be “simple”. He reckons the EU will be willing to discuss the arrangement before Christmas.

Mr Davis said during the transition, the relationship with the EU should be “very close to existing circumstances.” He expects, for instance, that banks in the UK will retain their “passporting” ability to do business in the EU during the transition. He expects negotiations over the transition will not last long.

Speaking on the broader post-Brexit negotiations, Mr Davis said he hopes a UK-EU deal will be agreed before March 2019, joking that it could be signed “nanoseconds” after the deadline. Still, he said he would not be “mortified” if ratification came afterwards.

Mr Davis also said that a no deal scenario remains “an option” until “the moment of signing”. He said: “It would not be the first time in European negotiations where some last minute claims come in because they think they have you over a barrel.” [...]

Full article on Financial Times (subscription required)

© Financial Times

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