BRUSSELS – The European Union’s chief negotiator for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the bloc, Michel Barnier, said on Wednesday that the temporary transition period after Brexit should not continue beyond the end of 2020.
Barnier said that this deadline of Dec. 31, 2020, was “logical” as it would avoid the complications derived from the UK still being subject to the bloc’s rules and obligations once the EU’s next multi-annual budget kicks in on Jan. 1, 2021.
“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.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May had asked for the transition to last around two years.
The country is set to officially leave the bloc on March 29, 2019; exactly two years after triggering Article 50 of the Treaty on the EU that allows member states to initiate the withdrawal process.