Published: Sun, December 17, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Brexit: UK must not be European Union 'colony' after Brexit

Brexit: UK must not be European Union 'colony' after Brexit

However, prominent Brexit campaigners in her own cabinet appeared concerned that Britain would be restricted by European Union rules during the transition period, which is expected to last for around two years.

"We will be beginning the talks about our future relationship, we will be beginning those straight away, and also talking about the implementation period that will give certainty to businesses and individuals", May told Sky News in an interview.

A day after she suffered a defeat in parliament over her blueprint for quitting the EU, Prime Minister Theresa May won applause from her peers on Thursday evening.

He congratulated Mrs May on reaching this stage and said the European Union would begin internal preparations for the next phase right now as well as "exploratory contacts with the United Kingdom to get more clarity on their vision".

Speaking in her Maidenhead constituency, Mrs May told the Press Association the move to the second phase of talks represented "an important step on the road to delivering the smooth and orderly Brexit that people voted for in June of last year".

But German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned even tougher work lies ahead after the European Union agreed to move talks on Britain's departure to the second stage.

May said she was "disappointed" at the setback, which critics warned could undermine her authority to deliver a deal, but stressed: "We're on course to deliver Brexit".

While securing a deal in time for the UK's exit in March 2019 was realistic, he suggested that the next phase would be "more challenging and more demanding".

A British government official said the prime minister was approaching the next phase, which will discuss a transition period as well as the terms of the future trading relationship, "with ambition and creativity".

Asa Bennett, Brexit commissioning editor, and Brexit correspondent James Rothwell discuss what will happen next as the fraught negotiations move on to phase two.

It makes clear that the EU expects the United Kingdom to observe all of its rules - including on freedom of movement - and accept the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice during this time.

It covers Britain's financial settlement, the future of the Irish border and expatriate rights, while the next stage will cover trade and a transition period to ease the break.

A Brexit transition deal will mean the United Kingdom retains the same rules that apply within the single market and customs union, the chancellor has said in remarks likely to infuriate Conservative hardliners.

The four-page guidelines pour cold water on Brexiteers' hopes of a swift movement to detailed negotiations on a free trade agreement with the EU.

The document "calls on the United Kingdom to provide further clarity on its position on the framework for the future relationship". It can negotiate with its European Union partners, and establish the terms of its future trade relations, but no agreement can be concluded until it is completely out.

Senior sources are confident they can see off a defeat, after No 10 said there were no plans to take the date out of the bill.

At a meeting without the British premier on Friday, the other European Union leaders formally approved negotiating guidelines saying there had been "sufficient progress" in the first phase and that the second phase could begin.

Mr Juncker said he was "convinced" a legally binding withdrawal agreement will be signed by October, to allow time for ratification by the European Parliament and MPs in Westminster.

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