European Council: 18th December 2017

Anna Soubry (Broxtowe) (Con)
I commend the Prime Minister for her success in the negotiations and the statement. I remind the Leader of the Opposition that the merits of a transition period were first advanced on this side of the House, notably by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. On that note, as a former Business Minister, may I say to the Prime Minister that what business really wants is certainty? How soon does she think that we will be able to announce that the transition period has been agreed so that we can give that certainty to business?
The Prime Minister
My right hon. Friend makes an important point from the point of view of business. Significantly, it was accepted at the December Council not only that there should be such an implementation period, which in fact reflects the guidelines set out by the EU Council last April, but that we would start negotiating that very soon. We are looking to have those negotiations concluded in the first quarter of next year.