EU politicians have warned Theresa May that the UK may not fully be out of the EU until 2022.
They have also said the European Court of Justice will ‘settle any legal challenges’ over the process of leaving the bloc.
In addition, MEPs made it clear there would be no ‘trade-off between internal and external security including defence cooperation on the one hand, and the future economic relationship on the other hand.’
The comments were obtained from a draft response from MEPs to May’s official article 50 letter which triggered Brexit today.
The draft reads: “Transitional arrangements ensuring legal certainty and continuity can only be agreed between the United Kingdom if they contain the right balance of rights and obligations for both parties.”
During this time, ‘The UK will preserve the integrity of European Union legal order, with the European Court of Justice responsible for settling any legal challenges.’
“These arrangements must also be strictly limited in time, and should not exceed three years, and in scope as they can never be a substitute for Union membership,” it adds.
The warnings are telling given that any withdrawal agreement will need to be agreed by 72% of the remaining 27 countries.
The draft also warns that the UK should pay its liabilities ‘arising from outstanding commitments as well as make provision for off-balance sheet items, contingent liabilities and other financial costs that arise directly as a result of withdrawal.’