Brexit transition: EU hails 'decisive step' taken towards UK withdrawal

The UK and the EU have agreed on a ‘large part’ of the Brexit transition period.

In a joint press conference held by Michel Barnier and David Davis, it was confirmed Brexit transition will end on 31 December 2020.

Mr Davis said the agreement represented a “significant step” on ensuring a time-limited implementation period after Brexit which would deliver the certainty demanded by business.

The big decisions

Significantly, Mr Barnier confirmed the UK will have to abide by EU rules such as the single market during the transition period, but that it would not be apart to participate in any decision-making processes.

It has also been agreed that EU citizens arriving in the UK during the transition period will enjoy “the same rights and guarantees” as those present before Brexit.

However, the thorny issue of Ireland remains a stumbling block, with Mr Barnier admitting it had yet to be resolved. He said regulatory alignment solution for Ireland will be part of withdrawal agreement as a fallback option.

Reaction

Hailing the text as a ‘decisive step’, Mr Barnier nevertheless warned:

‘We are not at the end of the road and there is a lot of work still to be done on important subjects including Ireland and Northern Ireland.’

The pound hit a one-month high against the dollar immediately after the announcement.

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The pound hit a one-month high