UK Prime Minister Theresa May has stated that the UK should remain bound by EU rules during a two-year implementation period, during which time, Britain would maintain access to EU markets.
Speaking in Florence today, Mrs May said that the agreement should include a double lock: a guarantee that there will be an implementation period, and a guarantee that it will be time-limited. She said that people and businesses would benefit from a period to adjust to the new arrangements.
Mrs May said she does not want EU nations to lose out during the budget period running up to 2020 from Brexit, and that Britain would continue to honour its obligations in this regard.
On the subject of the single market, Mrs May said she was not pretending that the UK would be able to keep all the advantages of the single market with none of the disadvantages, but that she wanted to find a new balance.
She said forcing the UK to choose between an EEA-type model (like Norway) or a Canada-type model would be "unimaginative", arguing instead in favour of a “creative” approach leading to something better.
Winding down, Mrs May said that the way for both sides to proceed is for them to follow the approach she has set out today. “The negotiations will be difficult. But if we approach them in the right way, respectful and pragmatic, it can work for both sides.”
Mrs May ended by saying that she recognised this is not what the EU wanted, but they had to get on with it. “If we get the spirit of this partnership and negotiation right, we can make this vision happen.”