FILE PHOTO: Flags are arranged at the EU Commission headquarters ahead of a first full round of talks on Brexit, Britain’s divorce terms from the European Union, in Brussels, Belgium July 17, 2017. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo
August 12, 2017
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain needs a transition period to soften its exit from the European Union, but it cannot be used to stop Brexit, two senior British ministers said on Saturday.
“We believe a time-limited interim period will be important to further our national interest and give business greater certainty – but it cannot be indefinite; it cannot be a back door to staying in the EU,” finance minister Philip Hammond and trade minister Liam Fox wrote in a joint article for the Sunday Telegraph newspaper.
Fox is one of the government’s most pro-Brexit ministers, and Hammond an outspoken pro-European, so that the joint letter represents an important agreement between two opposing factions within Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet.
(Reporting by William James; Editing by Kevin Liffey)