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Need for transitional agreement

Hammond says Brexit deal needs longer than two years

philip-hammondChancellor Philip Hammond says it will take longer than two years to agree a deal with the European Union.

He now believes a transitional trade deal has to be the preferred option, a view that puts him in conflict with Brexit Secretary David Davis who is not thought to favour a transitional deal or any other mechanism that delays the Brexit process.

In what appeared to be a direct criticism of Mr DavisMr Hammond told MPs that  “thoughtful politicians” would understand that a transitional deal was necessary.

“The further we go into this discussion the more likely it is that we will mutually conclude that we need a longer period to deliver,” he told the Treasury Select Committee.

He said a longer period was needed to manage the adjustment “between where we are now as full members of the EU and where we get to as a result of the negotiations”.

This would carry fewer risks of disruption, including crucially risks to financial stability, “which must be a very real concern”.

A transitional deal would be welcomed by those supporting a soft Brexit as it would allow for time to develop new arrangements without knee-jerk responses from one or the other.

There is also increasing recognition that the sheer volume of rules governing trade deals among 28 nations means the negotiating process will be long and complex.



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