LONDON Dec 12 British finance minister Philip
Hammond backed the idea of a transition period between Britain
leaving the European Union and the finalisation of its new
relationship with the bloc, and said EU countries also stood to
"I don't think we should approach this on the basis that we
need transitional arrangements, because I think we can only get
to a situation where we have a transition if there is a genuine
meeting of minds on both sides of this negotiation that they are
beneficial," Hammond told lawmakers on Monday.
"Collectively, I think transitional arrangements would be
beneficial to us."
Hammond, who has previously suggested that a transition
period would be necessary, said he expected discussions about
such a period to be discussed early in the negotiations between
Britain and the EU's other 27 member countries.
Prime Minister Theresa May has said she wants to launch
formal negotiations on leaving the EU before the end of March, a
process which has to be concluded within two years. The European
Commission has said it expects the talks to be completed by
(Reporting by Andy Bruce and Camilla Hodgson; Writing by
William Schomberg, editing by Elizabeth Piper)