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Brexit punishment clause expected to be toned down

UK News | Published:

Brexit Secretary David Davis had criticised Brussels over its transition proposals.

Brexit Secretary David Davis criticised the ‘discourteous’ language in the position paper (Victoria Jones/PA)

A so-called punishment clause in papers setting out the European Union’s intentions over Brexit transition is expected to be toned down.

David Davis accused the EU of failing to act “in good faith” after the documents published in Brussels last week suggested Britain could face sanctions during the implementation period.

The Brexit Secretary criticised the “discourteous” language in the position paper.

Footnote 4 in the EU's draft legal text on transitional arrangements
Footnote 4 in the EU’s draft legal text on transitional arrangements

But officials from the other 27 nations have promised new, softer wording in an expanded version of the text that is expected to be published by the end of February, according to the BBC.

The European Commission said it would not comment on on-going discussions and the Department for Exiting the European Union declined to comment.

The aim, contained in footnote four of the document, was branded a “punishment clause” by critics.

Mr Davis said last week that he did not think “it was in good faith to publish a document with frankly discourteous language and actually implying that they could arbitrarily terminate in effect the implementation period”.

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