The European Commission would “carefully” study Britain’s proposal on setting up an interim customs agreement with the European Union, according to a statement issued by the Commission on Tuesday.

“We see the UK’s publication of a series of position papers as a positive step towards now really starting phase one of the negotiations. The clock is ticking and this will allow us to make progress,” a spokesman for the Commission said.

The spokesman noted that the Commission but would only address the post-Brexit relationship once sufficient progress had been made on the divorce.

The Commission addressed a recently published position paper in which Britain proposed setting up an interim customs union but also wants the right to negotiate other trade deals.

In the paper, the UK government expressed their wish to maintain tariff-free trade with the EU for up to two years after Brexit.

Brexit negotiations officially started on June 19, when UK Brexit Secretary David Davis arrived in Brussels to negotiate the terms with chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier. The talks are expected to conclude by the end of March 2019.

Tags: ; ; ; ;