UK finance minister keen to avoid ‘cliff edge’ Brexit

Published: 11:57 GMT, Jul 28, 2017 |

British finance minister Philip Hammond said on Friday (July 28) he wanted to avoid a “cliff edge” departure from the European Union in 2019 and planned to deliver “business as usual” immediately after Brexit.

Hammond said any “transitional period” after leaving the EU would need to finish by the time of the next British general election in June 2022, adding it may finish before then depending partly on customs and immigration arrangements.

“The over-riding concern is to make sure that we go through this process in a way that avoids disruptive cliff edges for business and for individual citizens,” Hammond said.

Hammond, who opposed leaving the EU in last year’s referendum, has been one of the loudest voices among Prime Minister Theresa May’s ministers in calling for a smooth, business-friendly Brexit.