UK Construction Media

David Davis aiming to trigger Brexit talks before or by start of 2017

News   •   Jul 20, 2016 15:49 BST

Brexit Secretary has said Britain will be in a position to trigger the official process to leave EU by start of 2017.

The newly appointed Brexit Secretary, David Davies, has called for a “brisk but measured” approach to Brexit, aiming to trigger Article 50 to leave the EU before or in early 2017.

He said Article 50 should not be triggered too early, due to the risk of EU countries acting “irrationally”.

Access to the single market will be an important area of negotiation, which EU leaders have said is conditional on accepting the free movement of people.

Mr Davis said that the “ideal outcome” would be “continued tariff-free access” to the EU single market, adding: “Once the European nations realise we will not budge on control of our borders, they will want to talk, in their own interests.

“But what if they are irrational, as so many Remain-supporting commentators asserted they would be in the run-up to the referendum?

“This is one of the reasons for taking a little time before triggering Article 50. The negotiating strategy has to be properly designed, with serious consultation.”

Prime Minister Theresa May has previously said she would not trigger Article 50 before the end of 2016, which will begin the two year process.

David Davies has said that the “first order of business” should be to make deals with non-EU countries such as the United States and China, which would give Britain a trading zone almost twice the size of the EU.

He said that this will provide massive exports and cut costs for Britain’s manufacturing industries.

Former Cabinet Minister Oliver Letwin warned that the UK does not have its own trade negotiators, as they all work for the European Union, however Mr Davis insists that Britain will be able to put in place new trade agreements which will come into force at the point of exit from the EU having been fully negotiated beforehand.

It would be up to the British people who work for the EU in trade negotiations, if they would want to switch to working for the UK.

Mr Davis cited the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (Ceta) as a possible blueprint for the UK’s future relationships with the EU once it leaves, which is described as a “great trades deal” but a “significantly less close relationship” than EU membership.

An example is that it does not include the rights for financial firms to trade unhindered across the EU under rights known as “passporting” and has less “labour mobility” than full membership.