Hammond: Most U.K. Ministers Agreed on Need for Brexit Transition Period

Britain’s Finance Minister Philip Hammond, speaks to the BBC in London, Sunday. (Jeff Overs/BBC handout via Reuters)

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May’s top team of ministers are increasingly convinced of the need for a transition period as Britain leaves the European Union, Finance Minister Philip Hammond said on Sunday.

Brexit minister David Davis and his negotiating team are due in Brussels on Monday  for a first full round of Brexit talks.

“Five weeks ago the idea of a transition period was quite a new concept; I think now you would find that pretty much everybody around the Cabinet table accepts that there will be some kind of transition,” Hammond told the BBC.

“We’re into a real process now with the start of negotiations, and I think you’ll find the Cabinet rallying around a position that maximizes our negotiating leverage and gets the best possible deal for Britain.”

Hammond said the length of any transition period would depend on how long is needed to get new systems in place to handle areas such as customs and immigration, but it should be a defined period and was likely to need to be at least two years.