United Kingdom won't be Europe's lapdog during transition period, says David Davis

Jacob Rees Mogg arrives at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester Britain

Drug giants have told of "significant disruption to the supply chain for medicines" and that customs delays would damage "time and temperature sensitive" materials, without a Brexit deal.

Under the plans drawn up by Downing Street, much of which is being kept secret, the nation will stay under European Union rule for two years in a "transition split" as parts of the agreement are slowly unraveled. "We are de facto staying in the European Union for two more years", he said.

Davis declined to comment on the EU's framework for the next phase of discussion, published on Monday, saying he saw that as a starting point in talks. "Can't we be a bit bolder and implement the referendum result?"

He insisted that the transition period was not a deferral of Brexit, even though the United Kingdom will follow Brussels' rules.

On the thorny issue of a financial services position paper, Davis said he "suspects" there might be one but claimed there had been "no explicit plan" for one. Calling the country a "vassal state" of Brussels, Rees-Mogg insisted the government take a harder line.

The UK had initially wanted the cut-off date to be the day of the Brexit vote in 2016, and the EU's shifting stance caused alarm among Brexit supporters. He argued that this was not a concern as, on average, such rules take 22 months to come into force, whereas the European Union is proposing a 21-month transition. "I see my task as creating that freedom".

More news: Dollar extends weakness on Mnuchin remarks; bond prices down

Davis said he did "not accept" Rees-Mogg's description, which prompted the MP for North East Somerset to say: "Isn't that a really weak answer?" Still, it will be up to parliament and the government to decide later "whether or not" this power is used, he said. Escaping the writ of the ECJ is a Brexit "red line" for Mrs May.

In October, Davis' chief of staff Stewart Jackson, who was sitting behind him at today's committee, out some "red lines".

But commentators pointed to a question Davis posed to then-PM Cameron in the House of Commons in 2014: "Will the prime minister tell us his intentions of bringing to this House the red line issues that will feature in his renegotiation, and can he give us a preview of some of those issues today?"

Rees-Mogg later added that our refusal to start trade negotiations with other states meant we were still being the EU's "lackies".

While Davis's words offered the clearest vision yet of what the government is aiming for, people familiar with the European Union side of the negotiations signaled they hadn't heard a significant change in the British position as they understood it.

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