The “cabinet is united” over the need for a transitional period after Britain officially leaves the European Union, Cabinet minister Michael Gove has said.
He said an “implementation period” ensuring access to migrant labour and economic stability would happen.
He said it must be driven by “pragmatism” but also recognise the UK’s vote to leave the EU last year.
It follows newspaper reports that free movement for EU citizens could continue for years after March 2019.
The Times reports that the prime minister is ready to offer EU citizens free movement for up to two years after the UK officially leaves the EU – while the Guardian suggests it could be four years.
senior Downing Street source dismissed the reports as coming from “someone on a flyer” and said it was “not the government’s position”.
Could there be temporary membership of the European Economic Area? Some leavers might be suspicious that temporary would become permanent.
Should we stay in the customs union a bit longer until we hammer out a bespoke deal post Brexit? The EU is unlikely to get the clarity it seeks until there is clarity around the cabinet table.
There has been talk of soft, hard and clean Brexits. Increasingly another word has entered the lexicon.
David Davis uses it. Michael Gove used it today. Expect to hear more of it. Pragmatic. That’s now the goal – a pragmatic Brexit. And that necessarily means compromise at cabinet level as well as with the EU.