Idea has emerged to extend Brexit implementation period: PM Theresa May

AFP London, UK Oct 18, 2018, 01.16 PM(IST)

File photo of British Prime Minister Theresa May. Photograph:( Reuters )

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British Prime Minister Theresa May made no significant new proposals to unblock Brexit negotiations on Wednesday.

British Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed Thursday she was considering extending the transition period after Brexit for a few months to give time to agree on a new trade deal with the European Union.

"A further idea that has emerged, and it is an idea at this stage, is to create an option to extend the implementation period for a matter of months," she told reporters as she arrived for the second day of EU summit talks in Brussels.

PM Theresa May had made no significant new proposals to unblock Brexit negotiations on Wednesday when she briefed fellow EU leaders, the president of the European Parliament told reporters.

"I have said there is nothing substantially new in the content, but I sense a political will to make headway," said Antonio Tajani, who attended May's address on the first night of a European summit.

Earlier, PM Theresa May had said that a Brexit deal was achievable and "now is the time to make it happen", as she arrived at an EU summit.

"I believe everybody around the table wants to get a deal. By working intensively and closely we can achieve that deal," she told reporters in Brussels.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier had opened the possibility of extending the one-year transition period in an effort to unblock talks stalled on the thorny issue of the Irish border, EU diplomats said speculated earlier.

Barnier told European Affairs Ministers on Wednesday "that one of the options was to extend the transitional phase by one year (to 2021)" in order to gain more time to negotiate trade deal, EU diplomats told AFP.