You may be aware that on Monday the Brexit Secretary held a press conference with his negotiating counterpart, Michel Barnier, to announce that an agreement had been reached on the implementation period once we have left formally the EU. I wanted to blog a little about it today to set out the facts and pass on what the Government has achieved.
It has been agreed that the implementation period will last from Brexit day, 30 March 2019 to 31 December 2020. This period will give citizens and businesses alike the time to adjust to the new environment and prevent shocks to the economy.
The agreement will be underpinned by a duty of good faith and governed by a Joint Committee to ensure the agreement is faithfully and fully implemented by both sides. Also, as part of the agreement we have now secured a reciprocal deal that gives further certainty to all of our citizens about their future rights.
What is clear from the outset is that the UK and EU negotiating teams have come such a long way since negotiations began. There are of course still some issues outstanding that will require further work from both sides before agreement can be reached. However, this agreement represents real progress that we can be proud of on both sides of the debate. As it ensures the UK’s formal links to the EU as we know them will cease at the end of 2020, but that we leave in a way that is responsible to people who call the UK their home and businesses who have operations large and small across the continent.
I have included a letter I received from the Brexit Secretary, which I think you will find useful.
In the letter he says:
“Over the coming weeks and months the UK and the EU will continue to push ahead with negotiations in all these areas with the aim of reaching a complete Withdrawal Agreement in October. Our aim remains to reach an agreement on the implementation period at the March European Council, to provide certainty and clarity for businesses on both sides.”
As always, I will be reporting back to you shortly with further updates on our progress.