The UK and EU have agreed on a “large part” of the agreement that will support the UK’s “orderly withdrawal” from the European Union, it has been announced today.

Brexit negotiators Michel Barnier and David Davis said they had agreed terms for a transition period, calling the announcement a “decisive step”.

The transitional period is set to last from March 29, 2019 to December 2020,  and is intended to pave the way for a future permanent relationship.

The agreement will be  presented to the European Council for approval later this week.

David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, said: “Businesses need not delay investment decisions, or rush through contingency plans based on guesses about the future deal. Instead they now have certainty about the terms that will apply immediately after our withdrawal.”

He said this means that businesses … “can continue to operate and invest with confidence, as the design of our future partnership with the European Union becomes clear.”

Breathing space

Aerospace, defence, security and space trade association ADS has warned recently any further delay without a transition deal could have put long-term investment in UK industry at risk.

ADS Chief Executive, Paul Everitt, said today: “This transition deal will help give industry the breathing space it needs to adjust to the new long-term partnership agreement between the UK and the EU after Brexit.

“Negotiators must now focus on reaching agreement on key aspects of our trading and regulatory relationships with the EU, where failing to reach a deal would create substantial costs and disruption for industry.

“Our sectors need assurance that after the UK leaves the EU we will not face burdensome new customs requirements and will continue our participation in successful pan-European regulatory regimes like the European Aviation Safety Agency and European Chemicals Agency.”

However, Everitt added: “Today’s announcement is an important step forward in achieving the comprehensive and ambitious deal that industry needs to remain competitive after Brexit. However, there is still a long way to go and it is vital that negotiators continue to put jobs and prosperity first.”

Brexit approaches

FINN recently ran a panel discussion about the implications of Brexit for the aerospace industry. The panellists were Scott McLarty, VP UK & Malaysia, Spirit AeroSystems; Colin Smith, Chairman of the Aerospace Growth Partnership & President, ADS; and Paul Everitt, CEO, ADS.

While the group acknowledged that Brexit brings serious challenges, Everitt also stressed: “We’ve been very clear with government that to understand what our new relationship with the rest of the EU is going to be will take some time…So the focus for us is to ensure that we get an early agreement.”

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