January 9, 2018 / 4:31 PM / 5 months ago

REFILE-Transition period has priority over ultimate Brexit, British ministers write

(Refiles to add Brexit minister’s first name)

BERLIN, Jan 9 (Reuters) - British finance minister Philip Hammond and Brexit minister David Davis wrote in a German newspaper that they wanted to give German business leaders the message that a transition period took priority over Britain’s final exit from the European Union.

The ministers, who are due to begin a visit to Germany on Wednesday, wrote in a guest article for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that prioritising that transition period over Britain’s exit from the single market and customs union was also in the interests of Germany and the European Union.

They wrote that the British government understood the German position that Britain could not leave the EU while at the same time enjoying all the benefits of EU membership but added: “The EU’s priorities are not incompatible with ours: a deep and special partnership with our closest trade partners and allies”.

They wrote that it was necessary to be “imaginative and inventive” in establishing new relations between Britain and the EU.

Reporting by Michelle Martin and Madeline Chambers, editing by Thomas Escritt

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