Barnier Hails 'Large Part of Brexit Work COMPLETE' as Transition Limited

PA Archive  PA Images                   A victorious Nigel Farage

PA Archive PA Images A victorious Nigel Farage

The transition accord was announced Monday at a news conference in Brussels by David Davis, Britain's main negotiator, and his European Union counterpart, Michel Barnier, who described it as a "decisive step" toward an orderly withdrawal, or Brexit.

In a joint press statement, David Davis, the UK's Brexit secretary, and Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator announced the areas they'd agreed on.

That accord is now likely to be endorsed by leaders of the other 27 European Union member states at a summit on Friday, a day after they have met Ms May herself in Brussels.

"That we now have to wait until 2020 to assume full control is an undoubted disappointment", said Davidson, who leads British Prime Minister Theresa May's party in Scotland.

The agreement on citizens' rights came as part of a much wider deal following a weekend of intensive talks in Brussels.

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Britain argues it has two other preferred outcomes for the Irish border, both dependent on agreement on future EU-UK trade rules.

The "transition" period will last from March 2019 to the end of December 2020.

"Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed", Barnier said.

Davis agreed with Barnier that Monday's agreement was "decisive" and increased the odds on finding an orderly deal to avoid Europe's second biggest economy simply crashing out of the bloc in just over a year.

"With the issue threatening to stall an agreement on the transition period, a deal, however, had been struck". Citizens of the European Union who arrive in the United Kingdom during the transition period will also be granted the same rights.

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Both sides wanted the transition deal in place so that it could be signed off by EU leaders at a Brussels summit later this week, allowing the unlocking of talks on the future British-EU relationship in April.

The party said the government and European Union have already committed to having both "no hard border" on the island of Ireland, or any "borders or barriers to trade within the UK". Among other issues, it would set out how the two sides intend to avoid a hard border in Ireland.

Davis however denied that Britain had backed down, saying it was still pushing for a solution as part of a trade deal which would mean there was no need for the backstop.

Simon Coveney, the Republic of Ireland's foreign minister, said after meeting Michel Barnier that "negotiations are moving forward - progress on Irish issues remains a key priority for both negotiating teams and solidarity with our European Union partners remains strong". Versus the euro, sterling rose 0.8 percent to 87.46 pence per euro.

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