BREXIT STUCK IN SLOW LANE Hammond denies EU deal will take 10 years but German leader says two-year plan ‘naïve’ CHANCELLOR also said quitting Brussels on WTO terms would not be best outcome for Britain

BREXIT STUCK IN SLOW LANE

The Chancellor also said quitting Brussels on World Trade Organisation terms would not be the best outcome for Britain

PHILIP Hammond has denied claims a new trade deal with the EU will take 10 years but a top German politicians says it is “naïve” to think it can be done in just two.

The Chancellor also said quitting Brussels on World Trade Organisation terms would not be the best outcome for Britain.

The Chancellor says it will not take a decade to negotiate a trade deal with the EU

Reuters

The Chancellor says it will not take a decade to negotiate a trade deal with the EU

He was speaking while on a short visit to South Korea, and rejected the comments by our ambassador to the European Union yesterday.

Sir Ivan Rogers said a deal post-Brexit could take up to a decade to finalise, adding pressure on Theresa May to back a so-called ‘transitional deal’ with the remaining 27 nations.

Mr Hammond told the BBC: “I don’t expect that it will take as long as that. There will be two stages in this process: first we will negotiate a deal for our exit from the European Union and, once we have started that process, we will, in parallel, begin to negotiate new arrangements with our former European Union partners so that we can continue to trade and work closely with them.”

He also said leaving on WTO rules would not be the best outcome for Britain

EPA

He also said leaving on WTO rules would not be the best outcome for Britain

But Stephan Mayer, home affairs spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party, said it would be “very ambitious” to think a trade deal could be concluded within two years alongside the negotiations to leave the EU.

“It is not easy to make this trade agreement within two years,” he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

“So there is a clear German position – we want negotiations on a level playing field and certainly we would like Great Britain to stay as a very important pillar within the single market and contributes to the single market.”

He added: “I think it is very ambitious to finish these negotiations within two years.”

The German politician said it was “a little bit naive” to think that a deal would be easy to conclude within the two-year period.

Mr Mayer suggested the issue of citizens’ rights could be easier to resolve, adding: “I have much sympathy and understanding for this British position.

“Certainly more than one million British citizens live in the other 27 member states so that is a very decisive issue for the UK Government and certainly the other way around, more than 300,000 German citizens for instance are living in the UK, so I think we have the same interests.”

Mr Hammond was speaking while on a trip to South Korea

EPA

Mr Hammond was speaking while on a trip to South Korea

Mr Hammond also talked about the potential the UK could leave the Single Market and continue to deal with EU nations on World Trade Organisation rules.

He told reporters at an event in the South Korean capital, Seoul: “In my view, the WTO option would not be the most favoured outcome.

“I hope that we would be able to agree with our European partners tariff-free access but on a reciprocal basis.”

The PM left hanging as her fellow EU leaders ignore her at Brussels summit

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