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Brexit news: Dominic Raab slaps down Theresa May over extended transition period with EU | UK | News

Brexit news: Dominic Raab slaps down Theresa May over extended transition period with EU | UK | News 1034383 1

The arch-Brexiteer said: “In 159 days, the United Kingdom will leave the European Union.

“As Brexit negotiations enter the final stage, we need to stand firm, hold our nerve and keep our eye on the prize – a good deal with our EU partners.”

Mr Raab said the option to extend the transition period, suggested by the Prime Minister, to beyond December 2020 would only be an “alternative” to the backstop demanded by the bloc.

Mr Raab said: “The Prime Minister has rightly refused to rule out considering different approaches – including extending the implementation period for a limited period of a few months, as an alternative to the backstop.

“But we won’t sacrifice Northern Ireland, and we must have finality to any backstop – whether through a time-limit or a mechanism that enables the UK to leave, in case the EU doesn’t live up to its promise to get the future relationship in place swiftly.

“People understandably want to know when the Brexit process will end.”

The Brexit Secretary’s intervention will be welcomed by Brexiteers, who were left furious when Mrs May offered to extend the transition period “for a matter of months” as well as agreeing to a backstop.

The Prime Minister shared her latest plans during the second day of the European Council summit last week.

She said: “A further idea that has emerged – and it is an idea at this stage – is to create an option to extend the implementation period for a matter of months, and it would only before a matter of months.

“But the point is that this is not expected to be used, because we are working to ensure that we have that future relationship in place by the end of December 2020.

“I’m clear that it is possible to do that and that is what we are working for.

“In those circumstances, there would be no need for any proposal of this sort and I’m clear that I expect the implementation period to end at the end of December 2020.”

Brussels has demanded the backstop is necessary to protect Northern Ireland from a hard border if negotiations for a future relationship with the 28-nation bloc break down.

The suggestion the fallback mechanism could be dropped entirely will infuriate EU negotiators.

But Mr Raab remains confident the UK can reach a good deal.

He wrote in the Sunday Telegraph: “At the same time, our no deal planning and preparations will continue.

“We are building on the 106 technical notices we have published explaining how we will avoid, manage or mitigate the short-term risks of a no deal scenario – and make a success of Brexit.”

Source : EXPRESS

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