Brexit transition period could take two years, says Fox


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It could take a further two years for Britain to fully licence the EU and start negotiating new trade deals with other countries, Liam Fox has said.

The supranational trade secretary told the BBC there could be a two-year «implementation juncture» after the UK officially left the EU, in March 2019.

He had «no ideological barrier» to a phase to succour business adjust, he said.

Mr Fox denied he was planning for a situation in which the UK red the EU without a deal.

It follows reports of cabinet divisions over Brexit, with Chancellor Philip Hammond suggesting last month that no deal with the EU «would be a very, definitely bad outcome».

If the UK leaves the EU without a trade agreement it could default to Universe Trade Organisation rules, potentially facing tariffs on goods and posts traded with the EU.

Mr Fox said the UK could «of course survive with no dispense» but he wanted a «full and comprehensive deal» with the EU.

He also said «the unfasten trade agreement that we will have to come to with the European Party should be one of the easiest in human history» because the UK already met EU standards.

Some MPs comprise called for the UK to remain in the EU’s single market and customs union after Brexit. Some non-EU European rural areas, such as Norway, are members of the single market.

Mr Fox said that he did not «beget a problem» with a transitional Brexit deal, which he described as an «implementation juncture» but insisted: «You can not leave the European Union and be in the single market and the customs confederating.»

‘No ideological barrier’

Speaking after a speech in Geneva, where he is session the WTO’s director general, Mr Fox implied that such a phase could carry on two years.

Earlier this month, Mr Fox told Bloomberg TV he would be «unusually happy» with a transitional phase lasting «a few months».

He told the BBC: «We’re growing to leave [the EU] in March 2019.

«But if we can do it in a way that minimises or avoids any disruption to business, that accommodates them with the greatest amount of certainty and stability, then that’s positively a sensible thing to do.

«And if we have an implementation phase between us leaving the European Togetherness and moving to whatever new arrangement and relationship we have with the EU, I don’t have any trouble with that, for me there’s no ideological barrier to that.»

Mr Fox said he had been minister to to leave the EU «for a very long time, another two years, say, wouldn’t be too much to ask».

And he bid the UK would want to be able to «negotiate and conclude» trade deals unconnected the EU after March 2019 — but that was something that would be liegeman to negotiation.

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said Mr Fox’s apparent acceptance of «some character of transition» indicated «a change in tone from Brexiteers» since the combined election.

‘Penny dropped’

Lib Dem Brexit spokesman Tom Brake said: «I notion of the penny has finally dropped even with Liam Fox, that what the Brexiteers had existed as a simple, straightforward process that could be completed within a two of years, now they realise that there’s probably going to be a unite of years on top of that, and even that may be an underestimate.»

Mr Fox’s Labour shadow, Barry Gardiner, mean any trade deal with the EU would have a political dimension.

Mr Gardiner phrased: «Liam Fox seems to be saying it makes economic sense for the EU to give us a honourable deal and we already have the basis for that, so why don’t they just say, ‘Fist, we’ll keep it as it is.’?

«But of course that ignores the fact that the European Mixing too has its own political objectives, and they are about ever-closer union of the remaining 27 and safeguarding that nobody of those 27 feels that they too muscle get a better deal outside of Europe than inside.»

Mr Fox also mean earlier that the UK would take up an independent seat on the World Employment Organisation after Brexit and he believed that talks with the WTO show that «we will simply replicate our current obligations under the European Confederacy as we move into the United Kingdom as an independent member».

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