Prime minister says UK cannot have an implementation period after Brexit in March 2019 unless there is something to implement

Theresa May has signalled there will be no transitional period to prevent a “cliff-edge” Brexit unless the UK manages to agree a deal with the EU on their future relationship.

The prime minister has been under pressure to help businesses plan for the future by agreeing a time-limited transitional period by Christmas, but she told MPs that this “implementation phase” could only be agreed when a trade deal had been struck.

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