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Brexit: EU ministers agree on transition period demands

EU ministers have approved a new set of guidelines for a transition period following Great Britain’s exit from the bloc. The EU is offering the UK a “status quo” transition, but no decision-making power after it leaves.

Government ministers from the European Union on Monday agreed to a transition period lasting from March 2019 to December 31, 2020 that will phase out Great Britain from the bloc once it officially leaves next year.

Although the ministers agreed to allow Britain access to the EU’s single market during that time, the UK will have no decision-making power.

The negotiating directives, set out the bloc’s requirements for the transition period, including:

  • Free immigration from the EU must continue during the transition.
  • All EU laws — including those passed after the UK’s exit in 2019 — should continue to apply to Britain during the transition. Certain exceptions can be made in the areas of security and justice laws.
  • Britain will not have a role in the EU decision-making process once it leaves.
  • Any disputes over laws would continue to be handled by the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
  • The transition will be used to strike a deal on the UK’s future trade relationships — but the UK cannot formally sign-off on any new trade deals before the transition period expires.