Britain is reportedly set to cut ties with the EU for good on New Year’s Eve 2020 – three months earlier than originally planned.
Brussels has told British negotiators that there will be a shorter transition period than the two years requested by Theresa May in her Florence speech, according to The Sun.
The cut-off date is now apparently said to be 31 December 2020 – one year and nine months after the exit date of 31 March 2019.
A Whitehall source told the paper: “The EU timetable is the working assumption and no one seems too upset by that.”
The earlier date would mean that Britain would not become caught up into the EU’s seven-year budget cycle, which is due to be set in March 2021.
Brexiteer Iain Duncan Smith welcomed the earlier date, telling The Sun: “The sooner we can get this done, the better.”
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Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is set to kick-off a Brexit blitz on Valentine’s Day, with a call for unity over Brexit.
The Prime Minister is set to deliver a major speech on post-Brexit UK-EU security in Germany next Saturday, and will round off the process in about three weeks’ time with a keynote address on the overall relationship, following a special “away day” summit of the Cabinet withdrawal committee at Chequers.
Brexit Secretary David Davis and International Trade Secretary Liam Fox will also set out their agendas.