The British cabinet has accepted that free movement of people for up to four years after Britain leaves the EU will be part of a Brexit transition deal, according to a senior source.
As the EU chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, underlined the need for clarity on the British side at the end of the latest round of exit negotiations, soft Brexiters in the cabinet are now confident they have achieved a consensus about an “off the shelf” transition deal.
The claim that a collective view has been reached comes after weeks of a brutal briefing war over competing visions of Brexit since the general election wiped out Theresa May’s majority, culminating in the prime minister’s admonition this week that there is “no such thing as an unsackable minister”, and sowing confusion in Brussels about the reliability of the British negotiating position.
But as David Davis concluded Brexit talks in Brussels on Thursday, the senior cabinet source told the Guardian that the mood has shifted significantly and that ministers now hoped to agree a deal as soon as possible to give certainty to British business.Admittedly, this is only one aspect of the negotiations. But still, even modest progress is to be welcomed.
Provided, of course, that this clown is kept well away from the negotiations:
Liam Fox has said a post-Brexit free trade deal with the EU should be the “easiest in human history”, but insisted that the UK could survive without one.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Thursday, the international trade secretary said: “The free trade agreement that we will have to do with the European Union should be one of the easiest in human history.