Britain’s Brexit transition could stretch to as long as three years, it has been reported.
Officials are said to be in talks with their Brussels counterparts about the possibility of extending the official Government transition target of ‘around two years’ by 12 months.
It has been reported senior Whitehall officials are privately apprehensive about the possibility of a two-year time limit, especially given the challenges presented by a potential ‘hard Brexit’.
Britain’s Brexit transition could stretch to as long as three years, it has been reported
And now, as the Cabinet continues to fracture over the terms of our leaving the EU, senior British officials have raised the possibility of extending the transition period, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The possibility of an extended transition will likely further anger the pro-Brexit wing of the Tory party, and Jacob Rees-Mogg told the Telegraph Britain is heading for ‘Brino’ – Brexit in name only.
Theresa May has already faced a series of challenges on the issue and yesterday furious Tories are demanded she sack Philip Hammond if he does not stop ‘freelancing’ on Brexit.
The Chancellor is facing a huge backlash after he urged a ‘modest’ break from the EU yesterday.
But despite a slapdown from Downing Street Mr Hammond seemed unrepentant today – saying the government must find a ‘middle way’ to prevent damage to the economy.
The remarks further infuriated Eurosceptics, who bluntly ordered him to ‘put a sock in it’ and warned that his interventions were ‘hobbling’ the PM’s ability to negotiate with Brussels.
Officials are said to be in talks with their Brussels counterparts about the possibility of extending the official Government transition target of ‘around two years’ by 12 months
It comes as a poll revealed more Britons favour a second referendum on European Union membership than oppose another vote.
A total of 47% of respondents favour having a final say on Brexit once the terms of withdrawal are known, while 34% are against reopening the question, according to the ICM poll for the Guardian.
Excluding the 19% who do not have a view, it gives a 16-point lead in favour of a second referendum.
The increase of support comes from both sides of the Brexit debate, with a quarter of leave voters in favour of another poll.
The poll makes clear that Brexit remains a hot potato in Britain, with the country still divided and opinions becoming increasingly bitter and more polarised.
And yesterday Brexit Secretary David Davis said the free movement of EU citizens in Britain will continue in all but name until at least 2021.
A Government spokesman said: ‘This is a categoric lie. The time limited period should be determined by the length of time it takes to put in place new arrangements and we believe that should be around two years.’