No further time; UK says Brexit transition will finish in December 2020

LONDON/DUBLIN (Reuters) – Britain will finish its implementation interval with the European Union after Brexit in December 2020, a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Theresa May mentioned on Thursday, denying a media report that the government was searching for a brand new transition till 2023.

FILE PHOTO: A Britain’s and a few European flags are hung outdoors the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium December four, 2017. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File photograph

The spokeswoman repeated Britain’s stance that the transition interval would finish in December 2020 after The Times newspaper reported that May would suggest one other transition overlaying customs and commerce to run from 2021 till 2023 to keep away from the necessity for infrastructure or checks on the Irish border.

Northern Ireland might be Britain’s solely land frontier with the European Union after Brexit. Both sides say they’re dedicated to conserving the border with the Irish Republic open, however discovering a sensible resolution has proved elusive up to now.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who enjoys robust help from the opposite EU states, mentioned Dublin couldn’t conform to a time-limited resolution.

“Well 2023 won’t do. The Irish government won’t be able to agree to a situation where we put off a fundamental decision like that,” Varadkar advised Ireland’s Newstalk radio station.

The EU and Dublin insist the Brexit treaty should lock in a backstop association in case a future commerce pact doesn’t take away the necessity for border controls. London signed up for this final month however disagrees with the EU’s technique of attaining it.

Varadkar mentioned: “The whole purpose of having the backstop is that that’s a guarantee that is there in perpetuity and just kicking the can down the road on the basis that maybe we can come up with some sort of legal or technological solutions that don’t exist now, that’s not something we could accept.”

The British government says it would quickly suggest an alternate backstop thought to the EU, which might see Britain making use of the bloc’s exterior tariffs for a restricted interval past December 2020 if there’s any delay on ratification or on introducing new customs preparations.

May’s spokeswoman mentioned the government intends to be prepared with new customs preparations by the top of the transition interval, regardless of a parliamentary report additionally saying that Britain might have to remain within the customs union.

In Brussels, EU Industry Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska urged London to provide “at least some kind of predictability” for the interval after it leaves the bloc subsequent 12 months.

“From the very beginning of these negotiations, it has been visible that it’s not the European Union that is delaying this process. We are quite well prepared for this,” she mentioned.

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper in London, Padraic Halpin in Dublin and Gabriela Baczynska in Brussels. Editing by Stephen Addison

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