Statement by Michel Barnier - Brexit

6 Feb 2018 12:03 PM
<p><strong>Statement given yesterday by Michel Barnier following his working lunch in London with David Davis.</strong></p>

<p>Good afternoon to all of you. First of all, I want to thank you, David, for your hospitality. I was very pleased to also meet today the Prime Minister, Theresa May. In a very short time, from now until October, we must advance on three fronts.&nbsp;</p>

<p>First, translating our Joint Report into legal text.&nbsp;</p>

<p>Second, the transition period, which you just mentioned, David. Let me recall that the UK government has decided the date of the UK withdrawal: 29th March 2019. This was the UK's sovereign decision. Mrs May has asked to benefit from the Single Market and the Customs Union for a short period after this. The European Council has indicated its readiness to consider this request. The conditions are clear: everyone has to play by the same rules during this transition. Let me add one point about this transition: the certainty about the transition will only come with the ratification of the withdrawal agreement.&nbsp;</p>

<p>Number three: our future partnership between the UK and the EU. On that point we need also clarity about the UK's proposals for the future partnership. The only thing I can say now is that without a customs union- and being outside the Single Market - barriers to trade and goods and services are unavoidable. The time has come to make a choice. Thank you.&nbsp;</p>