EU: Brexit transition period to end by 2020

The European Union wants Great Britain to transition out of the international body by the end of 2020, chief EU negotiator Michael Barnier said.

The European Union's Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier says Britain will be out of the union by 2020. File Photo by Will Oliver/EPA
The European Union’s Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier says Britain will be out of the union by 2020. File Photo by Will Oliver/EPA

That timeline is ideal for the EU because it would mark the end of the organization’s seven-year budget, Barnier said. It would represent a 21-month transition for Great Britain and the EU.

“The transition period is useful and it will enable the public administration in Britain to get prepared for the challenges they have to face,” Barnier said.

British Prime Minister Theresa May suggested an “implementation period” in September that would last until spring 2021.

However, Barnier said the EU Commission agreed the best date would be December 31, 2020.

Speaking at a news conference to unveil the EU’s “negotiation directives” for talks with Britain, Barnier said Britain could not have an “à la carte” transition.

The chief negotiator confirmed that Britain would have to abide by all European Union laws during the transition period, including the ones agreed upon after 2019, without input from British authorities.

“We have always worked with the view that there has to be consensus and unity and we want to find with all our decisions a common position with consensus and unity,” Barnier said.

By Sara Shayanian