Transitional Brexit trade deal 'may last until 2022'


The International Trade Secretary has signalled a transitional deal after Britain quits the European Union could last up until 2022.

Liam Fox has previously said he would be happy with interim measures that lasted a "few months" but now suggested he believes it should be wrapped up by the next general election.

It comes as Jeremy Corbyn admitted Labour still did not have a clear position on whether the UK should remain part of the customs union.

Mr Fox said the time it takes Britain to quit was "not a huge deal" but he believed people did not want it "dragging on".

He told BBC One's Andrew Marr Show: "Having waited for over 40 years to leave the European Union, 24 months would be a rounding error. It's not a huge deal and neither is it an ideological one.

"I think we would want to get it out of the way before the election, I don't think people would want to have it dragging on."

Mr Corbyn meanwhile, said Labour had not decided yet whether Britain should remain in the customs union.

He told Marr: "The single market is dependent on membership of the EU. What we have said all along is that we want a tariff free trade access to the European market and a partnership with Europe in the future.

"The two things are inextricably linked so the question then is the kind of trade relationship of the future and we have made it very clear we want a tariff free trade access with the European market.

"We haven't jumped on either side of that fence but, again, the customs union is part of the European Union."

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable said he had been in talks with members of the shadow cabinet and Conservative backbenchers over the way the UK was being taken out of the EU.

Asked if he had held discussions with Labour MPs over stopping or changing Brexit, he told Sky News: "Yes and Conservative MPs too ... indeed, yes, members of the shadow Cabinet and Conservatives, mainly backbenchers."

Sir Vince said Labour MPs were being "intimidated" and told to "toe the line or else".