Michel Barnier announced today that the EU Commission is planning for a Brexit transition period that would end on 31st December 2020.
The guidelines also stipulate that the transition period would see all existing EU regulatory, budgetary, supervisory, judiciary and enforcement instruments and structures applied to the UK, including the competence of the Court of Justice of the European Union. Michel Barnier has also made it clear that the Government’s choice to seek to leave the Single Market and the Customs Union means a Free Trade Agreement, such as the one the EU has with Canada, is the only option available for the future relationship.
Commenting, Pat McFadden MP, leading supporter of Open Britain, said:
“This process has been less a negotiation and more a process of reality dawning.
“Throughout, the Prime Minister’s task has been to try to lead her party step by baby step towards an acceptance of reality. That’s what happened over the financial settlement where we went from the Foreign Secretary saying the EU could ‘go whistle’ to agreeing to pay about £40 billion.
“So it will be with phase two. Her next task will be to explain that the transition period will be the status quo minus a say over the rules. This will mean adhering to Single Market rules; acceptance of the jurisdiction of the ECJ; and continuing to pay into the budget.
“All the Cabinet posturing about departures from the rules in 2019 will have to come to terms with this reality. A transition period is helpful to the economy but it doesn’t answer the big questions about the future – it just kicks them down the road for a while.
“The big question for phase two is what kind of future relationship will we have with the EU. The Government says it wants to retain ‘the exact same benefits’ as we enjoy now in terms of trade with the EU and the Prime Minister confirmed this week that that this must apply to service industries as well as goods and agricultural products.
“That is the Government’s aim for a Free Trade Agreement and it is the benchmark by which the Government has asked to be judged.”