Transition Period

Exiting the European Union – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25th October 2018.

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Photo of Bob Blackman Bob Blackman Conservative, Harrow East 12:00 am, 25th October 2018

What changes there will be in the relationship between the UK and the EU during the transition period after the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019.

Photo of Suella Braverman Suella Braverman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

After the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 the implementation period will provide a bridge to our future relationship, ensuring that citizens and businesses only have to plan for one set of changes. During the implementation period the UK will no longer be a member state of the EU, nor will it have MEPs at the European Parliament or a judge at the European Court of Justice. We will have the freedom to negotiate, sign and ratify new trade deals with third countries, although they will not come into force until the end of the implementation period.

Photo of Bob Blackman Bob Blackman Conservative, Harrow East

I thank my hon. Friend for that answer, but clearly the position should be that on day zero we are full members of the EU and by the end of the transition period we have no connection other than the future arrangements that we have. It seems to me that instead of a curve as we reduce the transition period, all we have is a postponing of the cliff edge and a delayed departure. Will my hon. Friend comment?

Photo of Suella Braverman Suella Braverman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

I take note of my hon. Friend’s comments. The aim of the implementation period is to provide certainty for businesses and individuals with access to each other’s markets on terms similar to those today. There will be a number of changes to reflect the UK’s new status as a third country—those I mentioned before—but crucially we have got new opportunities to start taking steps to enjoy our new freedoms, and that time should be used effectively.

Photo of Jeff Smith Jeff Smith Opposition Whip (Commons)

It is reported that the Government are considering a proposal to make the transition period renewable on an annual basis. Are those reports accurate?