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BACKGROUND THIS WEEK in Brexit: May makes proposals aiming to re-energize talks

Europe
22.09.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Brussels (dpa) - British Prime Minister Theresa May proposed a two-year transition period after Britain‘s March 2019 exit from the European Union, aiming to re-energize the seemingly stalled negotiations about the terms of Brexit.

- To help businesses and individuals in Britain and the EU after Brexit, "during the implementation period, access to one another‘s markets should continue on current terms," May said in a key speech held in Florence on Friday.

She reassured EU citizens living in Britain that their rights would be guaranteed, adding that EU citizens would be allowed to live and work in Britain during the proposed transition period as well.

- Detailing her vision on the FUTURE RELATIONSHIP between Britain and the EU, May ruled out Britain using either a Canadian-style free trade deal with the EU or a Norwegian-style agreement to join the European Economic Area while accepting unrestricted freedom of movement.

- The EU reacted to the proposal for a transition period by saying it signalled a "constructive spirit," according to a statement issued by EU Brexit chief negotiator Michel BARNIER.

"If the European Union so wishes, this new request could be taken into account by the EU," Barnier said.

He added: "Today, for the first time, the United Kingdom government has requested to continue to benefit from access to the single market, on current terms, and to continue to benefit from existing cooperation in security."

- Before May‘s speech, British Foreign Secretary Boris JOHNSON set out his own vision for a thriving post-Brexit Britain in a column for the right-wing Daily Telegraph on Saturday.

He claimed Britain had a "glorious" future outside the EU, the single market and the customs union, noting that the country should pay nothing to the EU for access to the single market.

The comments put Johnson at odds with May‘s highly anticipated Florence speech, which seemed to make concessions to the EU. For this reason, commentators have suggested that Johnson may be preparing to launch a leadership bid.

British Home Secretary Amber Rudd accused Johnson of attempting to position himself as a "back-seat driver" of Brexit.

 

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