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Brexit: UK’s transition period could be extended past start of 2021, EU says

Britain’s Brexit transition interval through which it continues to comply with all EU guidelines with no say in shaping them could possibly be prolonged in 2021, the European Council has mentioned for the primary time.

The European Union right now confirmed that it desires the transition interval – throughout which the UK should proceed following EU regulation – to finish on 31 December 2020.

Throughout that one yr and 9 month interval, the EU and the UK will negotiate a commerce settlement in regards to the UK’s future relationship with the bloc, with Britain going its personal method on the finish of the interval.

However Ekaterina Zakharieva, the deputy prime minister of Bulgaria, which is at present chairing the European Council, mentioned at a press convention in Brussels that there was “flexibility” within the size of the interval.

Talking alongside European Fee chief negotiator Michel Barnier the minister mentioned if no commerce settlement was agreed through the time, the interval could possibly be longer.

“What we agreed upon through the Council earlier right now was … for a set particular deadline,” she informed reporters.

“However, the negotiation directives and the declaration that was authorised by the Council enable for the flexibleness when it comes to this era in case we didn’t handle to attain progress on the negotiations for the long run.

“What’s of curiosity to each events is to have a set particular date to the transition interval. It can’t be an limitless interval.”

The clarification is critical as a result of The Impartial understands that UK officers are involved the transition interval deadline provided by the EU won’t be lengthy sufficient to arrange the nation for exit and is contemplating asking for an extended time.

Regardless of the potential of extension, the EU is eager that the transition doesn’t proceed indefinitely.

“It’s in no one’s pursuits, actually not within the UK’s pursuits, to tug on, to increase that interval of instability and uncertainty,” Mr Barnier mentioned on the similar press convention.

“We’re engaged on an orderly withdrawal, there’ll be an settlement based on the joint report and all of that’s supposed to inject stability the place the choice to go away the EU has created lots of instability an uncertainty and concern and fear for EU residents.”

Theresa Could requested the EU for a transition interval of “round two years” in her Florence speech in autumn 2017, however the EU’s provide could be very a lot on the decrease finish of this envelope. Aside from negotiating a free commerce settlement through the time, the UK must bodily put together for Brexit, together with the potential of an overhaul of its ports and borders for brand spanking new customs checks.

Barnier: ‘the one market can’t be a la carte’

The Prime Minister’s technique has come beneath hearth from Brexiteers in her personal get together, with MP Jacob Rees-Mogg saying he believes the transition interval quantities to the UK turning into a “vassal state” of the EU, although Brexit Secretary David Davis has mentioned it’s a “bridge to the long run” and solely quantities to a “brief interval” within the EU’s orbit.

The European Union’s 27 remaining nations formally agreed on the phrases of the transition interval in two minutes flat at a gathering of the final affairs council in Brussels on Monday.

The UK didn’t attend the council assembly – as is conference for choices relating to Brexit. The council is a gathering of all of the related authorities ministers from the EU’s nations.

The pointed announcement that the dialogue solely took two minutes seems designed to point out the EU’s unity – in comparison with that of the British authorities, which has confronted criticism from its personal backbenchers over plans for the transition interval and which has but to agree what kind of commerce deal it desires.

The EU directions to its negotiators, leaked draft copies of which have been obtained by The Impartial, confirms that Britain must implement new EU legal guidelines created through the almost two-year transition interval with none say on their content material.

Brussels can be demanding a veto over any commerce offers the UK needs to signal with different nations through the interval, and can strip the UK of its illustration within the European Council, European Parliament, and European Fee – that are being misplaced because of deciding to go away the bloc.

The rules state that through the transition interval EU “acquis (regulation) ought to apply to and in the UK as if it have been a Member State. Any modifications to the Union acquis ought to mechanically apply to and in the UK through the transition interval”.

It provides that “the direct impact and primacy of Union regulation ought to be preserved” through the interval, however that “as a basic rule, the UK is not going to attend conferences of committees” shaping EU regulation.

“Throughout this restricted time frame, the entire EU acquis will proceed to use to the UK, in addition to the complete EU supervision and enforcement framework beneath the jurisdiction of the European Courtroom of Justice,” Mr Barnier mentioned.

“This may embrace EU guidelines coming into into drive through the place, for one easy motive: throughout transition, the UK will proceed to participate within the single market, to participate within the customs union, and all union insurance policies. It can proceed to have all of the financial advantages. Due to this fact, it should additionally apply all EU guidelines. The one market can’t be a la carte.”

Talks on the transition are set to start within the coming weeks, whereas discussions in regards to the framework for commerce ought to go forward from March after the UK has settled on a place. A full commerce settlement is anticipated to be negotiated through the transition.

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