With unsafe rifts emerging openly among May’s government, Davis and other top ministers tried to show a united front at the weekend with a joint letter insisting the transition was the best solution.
But delve deeper and the semantics of the positions expose divisions that will form the basis of the next round of acrimonious negotiations. The UK, having formally exited the EU and given up any say in EU decisions, would still be subject to EU laws.
“It will take part in the customs union and all union policies”.
European Union rules would fully apply in Britain, even as the country would have no say in European Union decision-making processes.
TheCityUK spoke out ahead of what it dubbed a “critical” meeting of the EU’s General Affairs Council in Brussels.
In short: no seat at the table – we become a rule taker but not a rule maker.
“There is little time left”.
Meanwhile Government’s flagship Brexit bill is set to begin its passage through the House of Lords on Tuesday.
Concerning the area of freedom, security and justice, where the United Kingdom has a right to opt in and opt out of individual pieces of legislation, the current rules will apply for acts adopted during the transition by which the United Kingdom is bound before its withdrawal.
In his speech on Friday, the Brexit Minister said Britain would negotiate its own trade deals during the transition period and seek to sign them, even if they could not come into effect until afterwards. Trump said he wanted to correct a “false rumor” that they were not getting along.
“The EU has said they will offer their most ambitious free trade approach and we are confident of negotiating a deep and special economic partnership”.
“I’ve had a lot of problems with (the) European Union, and it may morph into something very big from that standpoint – from a trade standpoint”.
Trump promised a “great” bilateral trade agreement with Britain.
Theresa May’s official spokesman said that while there was “broad agreement on the principle” there were differences on “specific detail”.
Alluding to the bloc’s protectionist practices, to which Britain is now party, having surrendered control of its trade policy to Brussels when it joined the EU/EEC in the 1970s, he explained: “We can not get our product in”.
The EU negotiator gave a cool reception to Brexit Secretary David Davis’s suggestion the deadline for transition talks to conclude could slip back from October to the end of the year. And for some of those in the “Leave” camp, it is a way to exit without falling off a cliff edge.
“It is in nobody’s interests, certainly not in the UK’s interests, to drag on, to extend that period of instability and uncertainty”, Mr Barnier said at the same press conference.
“We want the Germans to accept a vehicle that was inspected in Coventry or wherever and we would accept one that was inspected in Munich”.
In December the European Union declared that London had made sufficient progress on the Brexit divorce issues of the Irish border, money and protecting citizens’ rights, but the government is perceived in Brussels to have made little advance since.
He added that until there is full clarity and agreement on the Irish border issue, there will be no agreement on a transition.