The UK wants to extend the Brexit transition period to the European Union, according to reports on Wednesday.
A draft government document has outlined that, rather than the two-year transition period planned for Britain and the EU to work out their post-Brexit relationship, the duration of the transition should be “determined by how long it will take to prepare and implement” any future partnership, according to a document seen by The Times.
“The EU wants a transition of 21 months, we want a period of around 24 months,” a source told Reuters. Theresa May has previously ruled out the implementation phase extending beyond the two-year period, in order to avoid enflaming the pro-Brexit side of her party.
More than 60 Tory MP's wrote to the Prime Minister on Wednesday to demand she orchestrate a quick, clean break from the EU, piling further pressure on May before she and her ministers were set to meet and make a decision over Britain's negotiating position in the divorce.
The hard-line faction, calling themselves the European Research Group, implored May to take a tougher approach in several areas, including a demand for “full regulatory autonomy” outside the EU, as well as being granted permission to begin negotiating trade deals within the bloc immediately.
The group of 62 MPs, who represent less than a fifth of the 316 Conservative members of parliament, also want the power to veto any news rules or regulations coming from Brussels, and the ability to change British laws without approval from the EU, starting the moment the country formally leaves the EU on 29 March 2019.
Downing Street was set to ask the EU for a “mutual good faith” pact, the Times reported, to ensure that legislation agreed upon during any extended transition could not be designed to intentionally damage British interests such as the City of London.
May's proposal sought to assemble a “joint committee” aimed at “protecting the rights and interest of both parties”, something that will undoubtedly concern European governments that were concerned a transitional period would lead to a semi-permanent relationship.