British government ministers agree that it is necessary to negotiate with the European Union (EU) a transition period after the “brexit”, which should materialize on 29 March 2019, Economy Minister Philip Hammond said today .
Speaking to the BBC, Hammond, a supporter of a “soft” EU exit – which prefers access to the single market than reduce immigration – said most of his colleagues now see it is the right and most sensible way to proceed.
Hammond, who defended Remain in the referendum on June 23, 2016, in which a 52% against 48% of the British supported the “brexit”, has long advocated negotiating a transitional agreement that allows companies to adapt to the New legal framework after the departure of the block.
However, this option was not seconded by ministers who campaigned to leave the EU, such as Liam Fox, who prefers to negotiate trade pacts with third countries as soon as possible.
Fox, the minister of international trade, said today that he would accept a “limited-duration” transitional agreement and said that during that period of adaptation the UK should be able to negotiate with other states.
As the divisions in Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet grow, Hammond recalled today that negotiation should be speeded up and “providing clarity” to companies as uncertainty about the nature of the brexit is driving investment away.
A survey by the British business association CBI has revealed that 42% of British companies think that the “brexit” has hurt their investment plans.
Like Hammond, the CBI advocates a transitional period after the official date of exit, in which, in its view, the UK should remain within the market and the customs union.
The British Conservative government, weakened after losing an absolute majority in the June 8 elections, is facing the resumption of talks with Brussels tomorrow in a climate of maximum tension, which has manifested itself this weekend with negative leaks of ministers against others.