EU backs Brexit transition period to end by 2020

ANI | Updated: Jan 29, 2018 20:54 IST

Brussels [Belgium], Jan 29 (ANI): The European Union (EU) ministers on Monday formally agreed for United Kingdom's transitional period from the bloc to end by 2020.

In the meeting, an agreement was signed by the minister accepting the guidelines for the Brexit transition period that gives the UK access to the EU's single market for at least two years, until 2020, without having any policy-making power, according to the local media reports.

EU's deputy chief negotiator Sabine Weyand said, "The meeting with the European affairs ministers adopts the guidelines for Brexit negotiations and that the transitional period should be lasting to December 31, 2020."

The European Commission (EC) in December reiterated that the UK's transition from EU should be completed by December 31, 2020.

Also, it was decided that the treaty on the UK's exit from the EU bloc should be finalized by October 2018.

The deadline coincides with the end of the EU's seven-year budget period and has long been expected as the end date of the transition.

The EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, has said that the UK will retain the benefits and obligations of EU membership until the transition period ends.

In a referendum on June 23 last year, 51.9 percent of the UK electorate (overall turnout was 72.2 percent) voted to leave the EU.

On March 29, 2017, the British government invoked Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union, beginning the process of UK's exit from the European bloc. (ANI)