brussels (anp) - The transitional period for the United Kingdom after the brexit may not last longer than 1 January 2021.
The period that the British government itself requested from 'about two years' after the departure from the EU on 29 March 2019 must run parallel with the EU's multi-annual budget. That ends on December 31, 2020.
This is what EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier said about the next step that the EU and the United Kingdom should take before the British departure from the EU. He called that timeline 'logical'.
Now that there is an agreement in principle on the conditions for divorce, negotiations on the transitional period can start as soon as the Member States have adopted the directives for this. This is expected to happen at the end of January. The conversations can then be resumed 'immediately'.
During their summit on 15 December, EU leaders agreed to a transition period after the day that the British actually left the EU. The British want to stay longer in the internal market and the customs union to ease the transition for business.
But during the transition, Britain must continue to comply with all EU legislation, including new rules on which London will not have anything to say after the brexit as a non-EU member, warned Barnier.
The final exit treaty must be completed in October. This must include the separation, but also the conditions for the transitional period and a declaration of principle on how the future relationship looks like attached.