The European Union wants a transition period after Brexit to end no later than the last day of 2020, according to the European Commission's negotiating directives agreed on Wednesday. That date, coinciding with the end of the EU's seven-year budget period and 21 months after Britain departs the EU, had long been expected as the target end point of the transition.
European and UK business leaders have told Prime Minister Theresa May of their Brexit concerns. At a meeting in Downing Street on Monday, representatives from groups including the CBI and BusinessEurope pressed for a transitional deal that preserves the status quo after Brexit.
Uncertainty over Theresa May's future as prime minister helped send sterling down nearly 1% against the dollar on Thursday. The pound fell 0.9% against the greenback at $1.3127 and declined 0.45% against the euro to €1.1217. The fall reflected concern about the Conservative Party leadership following Mrs. May speech on Wednesday.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has said it is time to “let the British lion roar” as he called for Brexit to be a moment of national renewal. Addressing Tory activists he said the UK “can win the future” and should stop treating the referendum result as if it were “plague of boils”.
The UK has abandoned the idea of having its Brexit “cake and eating it”, European Council president Donald Tusk has said. Mr. Tusk made the comments after Downing Street talks with Prime Minister Theresa May on Britain’s EU withdrawal.
The EU and Britain resumed Brexit talks on Monday with fresh clashes, dimming hopes that a speech by Prime Minister Theresa May could provide a breakthrough in unlocking stalled negotiations. The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier insisted that he would not discuss May's call for a two-year post-exit transition deal until there was progress on key issues, including Britain's divorce bill.
Theresa May is expecting Boris Johnson to remain in her Cabinet as Foreign Secretary, Downing Street has said. The comment came after Mr. Johnson dismissed reports that he might be on the verge of quitting and denied the Cabinet is split over Brexit, insisting: “We are a nest of singing birds.”
Theresa May has warned the United Nations that Britain could withhold up to 30% of its £90m core funding each year unless the organization reforms. The PM told delegates at the UN general assembly there was a gap between the nobility of its purposes and the effectiveness of its delivery.
Theresa May has appealed for unity from pro-EU Conservative MPs as the Commons is set to debate the government's Brexit repeal bill on Thursday. The bill, seen as a key plank of the government's Brexit policy, transfers EU law into UK legislation
UK Prime Minister Theresa May did not raise the issue of Gibraltar’s sovereignty during her meeting with the king of Spain despite the two countries not seeing “eye to eye” on the issue, Downing Street said on Thursday. A Number 10 spokeswoman said the Gibraltar “didn’t come up” and insisted Spain is “well aware” of Britain’s position that the Rock’s future is not up for discussion.