Theresa May 'preparing to reject Brussels transition terms'

Posted On: 
30th January 2018

Theresa May is set to go into battle with the EU over the terms of the UK's two-year Brexit transition period, it has been reported.

Brexit Secretary David Davis alongside EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier

The European Commission is insisting the UK abides by "all decisions" made in Brussels and retains full freedom of movement until the end of 2020 - stipulations which have already been rejected by Tory eurosceptics. 

Brussels chief negotiator Michel Barnier said the UK "will continue to have all the economic benefits, therefore it must apply all the rules" during the two-year period.

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The guidelines published by the Commission yesterday are also a blow to David Davis, whose suggestion of a dispute resolution mechanism for new EU laws has been flatly rejected.

The Prime Minister's spokesman suggested the Government would challenge that stance, saying: “We have to agree a way or resolving concerns.

“You would expect some distance between the two sides, on more than one issue. This is the start of a negotiation.”

On migration, the Daily Telegraph reports that the Prime Minister will push for a registration scheme for new arrivals after March 2019, rather than allowing full freedom of movement to the UK.

Elsewhere, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox fired a warning to fellow eurosceptic MPs to stop briefing against Philip Hammond and allow ministers flexibility over negotiations.

“It doesn’t help us for people to be involved in this sort of briefing they were over the weekend against individual colleagues because nothing that would happen would change the parliamentary arithmetic," he told the Sun.

“We don’t have a working majority, other than with the support of the Democratic Unionists and we need to accept the reality of that. I know that there are always disappointed individuals but they’re going to have to live with disappointment.”

His remarks came as leading Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg prepares for a showdown with Chief Whip Julian Smith over future customs arrangements. 

Mr Rees-Mogg, who chairs the European Research Group of MPs, will insist ministers change the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bill to remove any mention of a customs union with the EU.