Positive move for discussions
EU talks take ‘important step’ to orderly Brexit
Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker: urged to avoid ‘no deal’ outcome
EU leaders have agreed to move Brexit talks to the next stage, an announcement described by Prime Minister Theresa May as an “important step” towards ensuring a smooth and orderly exit for the UK.
The talks scheduled for next month will shift towards the long term relationship between the UK and EU.
Initial discussions will focus on the terms of a proposed two-year transition phase after the UK leaves the EU in March 2019.
Industry leaders responded to the positive developments by urging Mrs May to ensure the ‘no deal’ outcome can be avoided.
Karen Betts, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said: “We welcome the clear progress made in the first phase of the Brexit negotiations.
“The UK Government should now move quickly to confirm the exact details of the transition period with the EU so our members do not have to prepare and implement contingency plans for a ‘no-deal’ scenario or any other unplanned changes coming into effect after March 2019.
“The concept of a transition period to deliver a smooth Brexit process is sensible.
“We believe any transition period should ensure that domestic regulatory frameworks remain certain, and that UK businesses continue to benefit from EU free trade agreements (FTAs) with third countries; as well as ensuring that businesses have the time to prepare in advance for any changes to exporting procedures and other regulations that will be required once the UK is fully outside the EU.”