Hossen Sohel of DOT
The EU says it is ready to extend the proposed length of the post-Brexit transition period if the UK wants, reports BBC.
The current plan is for a transition period of 21 months to smooth the path from Brexit to the UK and EU’s future permanent relationship.
But with the two sides failing to reach a deal yet, UK Prime Minister Theresa May said this arrangement could be extended “for a few months”, if needed.
Some Brexit campaigners have reacted angrily to the suggestion.
Mrs May said she was not proposing extending the transition, but that having the option to do so could help solve the current impasse over the Irish border.
An EU source told the BBC there would have to be “financial implications” if the UK did extend the transition period.
EU Council president Donald Tusk spoke to journalists at the end of a Brussels summit where there was no major breakthrough on the key issue of how to avoid new visible border checks between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after Brexit.
He said that if “the UK decided an extension of the transition period would be helpful to reach a deal, I am sure the leaders would be ready to consider this positively”.
Mr Tusk declared himself in a “much better mood” than after the last summit, in Salzburg.
Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, said extension of the transition period “will probably happen” saying it was a good idea because it would allow more time to draw up a long-term relationship between the UK and the EU.