Britain, EU agree post-Brexit transition phase: Barnier

Moving forward: Britain's Brexit chief David Davis and EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier have reached a landmark deal on a transition phase (AFP Photo/EMMANUEL DUNAND) (AFP)

Brussels (AFP) - Britain and the European Union on Monday reached a landmark deal on transition arrangements that will last for nearly two years after the Brexit divorce next year, EU negotiator Michel Barnier said.

"We have reached an agremeent on the transition period," Barnier told a press conference in Brussels after "intensive" negotiations with his British counterpart David Davis.

The new text of the withdrawal agreement produced by both sides says the transition will last from the day Britain leaves on March 29, 2019 to December 31, 2020.

"During that period, the United Kingdom will no longer participate in the European Union decision making process, because after that date it will no longer be a member of the EU," Barnier said.

"Nevertheless it will preserve the benefits, the advantages of the single market and the customs union... and will therefore be required to respect all the European rules just like all member states do."

Davis told the news conference that the transition deal "gives the certainty demanded by businesses and citizens across Britain and the European Union."