David Davis criticised over Brexit transition period gaffe

Posted On: 
19th November 2018

David Davis has been mocked after claiming the UK will still be able to enter a post-Brexit transition phase even if it fails to reach a withdrawal agreement with the EU.

David Davis resigned as Brexit Secretary earlier this year.
PA Images

The former Brexit Secretary made the claim in an article for the ConservativeHome website.

European and British negotiators have already agreed that the transition phase, which is due to run until the end of 2020 and during which the UK will still be subject to EU rules, can only kick in if a Brexit deal is reached.

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But Mr Davis said: "We can deliver an honest and clean Brexit, leaving all the possibilities such as global free trade deals open for bright future. If we need to leave with no deal and negotiate a free trade agreement during the transition period, so be it. Let’s be clear and honest and tell the EU that’s what we are prepared to do."

Lib Dem MP Layla Moran, of the pro-EU group Best for Britain, said: "These comments by David Davis are completely unbelievable. He is frankly just deluded or just plain stupid.

"It seems like the man who was in charge of delivering Brexit doesn't understand the process. Surely you can't have a transition without a deal?

"The truth is that there are two genuine options available to the Parliament and to the country: firstly the Government’s deal that loses us decision-making power and would leave us worse off, and second, our current deal that would keep our prosperity, keep our say over EU laws and trade agreements and deliver what the majority of people in the UK now want."