Brexit may take longer than thought, warns Hammond


When will Brexit be finalised?

Chancellor Philip Hammond has claimed that Brexit might take longer than two years.

He warned MPs of an “emerging view” that the two-year time period for finalising Brexit after Article 50 is triggered may not be long enough to reach a “clear and firm end state”.

Giving evidence at the Treasury Select Committee, he said: “Having a longer period to manage the adjustment between where we are now as full members of the European Union and where we get to in the future as a result of the negotiations that we will be conducting would be generally helpful, would tend towards a smoother transition and would run less risks of disruption.

Stephen Kinnock, a Labour MP, agreed with Hammond’s comments and called the transitional deal “encouraging”.

He added: “There is a growing consensus that agreeing a new trading relationship between Britain and Europe may take much longer than the two years specified by Article 50.

“Not signing a transitional arrangement would mean punishing tariffs which would hit British businesses and raise prices in the shops.”