European Union wants Brexit transition to end December 2020

European Union wants Brexit transition to end December 2020

Barnier was unveiling his new mandate just a few days after European Union leaders agreed last week that enough progress had been made on divorce issues - Britain's financial settlement, the rights of citizens hit by Brexit and the status of the Ireland-Northern Ireland border - to expand the negotiations for talks on future relations, including trade.

The EU has said it wants to have a free trade deal with Britain ready to go at the start of 2021, as soon as the transition ends.

"The transition period is useful and will enable the public administration in Britain to prepare themselves for the kind of challenges they will have to face", Barnier said at a press conference in Brussels while presenting the EU's formal position on the transition.

But it should be over by the end of December 2020.

Prime Minister Theresa May has asked for an "implementation period" of two years after the final Brexit deadline of March 2019, but many businesses say they need at least three.

Mr Barnier said talks on the transition will begin in earnest after a January 29 meeting at which the 27 remaining members are expected to approve negotiating guidelines agreed by the Commission in Brussels on Wednesday.

"That is what we are working to and that is what I believe we can do", she said.

Ryanair Union Recognition Averts Pilot Strikes
He said the unions also reminded management they could reactive their intent to strike in the absence of a "timely agreement". The news came ahead of Ryanair's meeting later in the day with Impact, the union representing Irish pilots.

He also revealed the Bank's plans are based on agreement being struck on a transition period by the end of the March next year.

The guidelines make clear that the Commission expects the United Kingdom to continue to observe European Union rules and regulations during the transition, while having no say over them.

The Governor added the Bank decided not to take a "glass half empty" view on the outcome of talks, despite warnings from Europe's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier that Britain can not have a special deal for the City of London.

Mr Barnier said there would be no special arrangement for City firms.

This could lead to a political declaration in October 2018 outlining the shape of the future relationship, but falling some way short of the full free trade agreement of the type being sought by Mrs May.

New Brexit talks are due to start in early January, but talks on future relations will require more negotiating guidelines for Barnier, and those are only expected to be endorsed by European Union leaders in March.

Brussels meanwhile has repeatedly warned Britain that it can not expect to leave the EU's single market and customs union, and maintain all its benefits.

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