Hammond: Brexit transition must end by 202228/07/17Government
Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has said any “transitional deal” in the immediate period after Brexit must end by the time of the next UK general election.
Hammond said there must be “business as usual, life as normal” for Britons as the UK exits the EU.
“Many things would look similar” the day after Brexit – on 29 March 2019 – as the UK moved gradually towards a new relationship with the EU, he said.
However, he added the transition must end by June 2022, before the next election.
The UK is due to leave the EU at the end of March 2019, but there has been increasing talk of a ‘transitional’ or ‘implementation’ phase to ease the Brexit process, before a new long-term relationship with the EU is agreed.
It could mean a period during which some EU rules would continue to apply to the UK after it has officially left the bloc. Newspaper reports have suggested these could include allowing the free movement of people for a period.
Hammond also acknowledged that it could mean new trade deals with non-EU countries would not be signed during that period, but said it would “take some time for us to negotiate” them and the important thing was to be able to “get started on that process”.
He said: “I can’t tell you a precise period of time because we haven’t had that discussion yet. It will be driven by technical considerations – how long it will take us to put the necessary arrangements in place.
“People have talked about a year, two years, maybe three years … I think there’s a broad consensus that this process has to be completed by the scheduled time of the next general election, which is in June 2022.”