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Report: UK, EU consider longer transition period to help Brexit talks

The U.K. and EU are discussing a proposal to allow an extension of the 21-month grace period that is due to become effective after Brexit day, Bloomberg reported.

Negotiators are trying to formulate a compromise on the Irish border and have proposed a so-called backstop, which is opposed by Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party — a necessary ally of Prime Minister Theresa May's government. The new plan is designed to convince the DUP that the backstop will not be needed, according to the report.

While the new proposal could appease the DUP, it runs the risk of upsetting pro-Brexit members of May's party as it would lock the U.K. into a prolonged exit period. Those members only reluctantly agreed to any sort of transition.

The U.K. government had no immediate comment, according to the report.

Under current Brexit plans, the U.K. would remain a nominal member of the EU during a grace period of 21 months following its departure from the bloc in March 2019, but it would lose influence over decision-making.

The length of the transition extension remains unspecified, and diplomats noted that it is one of many considerations to keep Brexit talks on track.