In her Florence speech, Prime Minister Theresa May proposed a Brexit transition period of “about two years” to implement the various regulatory changes after March 2019.
The UK would remain in the single market and customs union during this time.
The request drew criticism from some Brexiteers, such as Jacob Rees-Mogg, who argued that the EU should have no say in British affairs after we leave, and called it a “deferral” of leaving the bloc.
The Irish government then publicly called for an even longer implementation period of up to five years.
But sources in Brussels have told the Guardian the exit date is likely to be 31 December 2020.
Earlier this week Michel Barnier, the EU’s top negotiator, told a group of European newspapers he envisaged a similar timeline.
He said: “To my mind, it makes sense that it covers the financial period, so until 2020.”
This timetable would also coincide with the end of the EU’s seven-year budget.
The fishing quotas would also end then December 2020, so it would be a practical time said the source.
The Brexit Security responded discussions could go on until the last minute.
Ms Malhorta asked if that meant the Parliamentary vote on the final deal could come after Britain exit the block and Mr Davis said: “Yes, it could be. It can’t come before we have the deal.”
The revelation contradicted Brexit deputy minister David Jones, who promised MPs in February that the final vote on the Brexit agreement before we leave.
Speaking in parliament, Mr Jones had said: “I can confirm that the Government will bring forward a motion on the final agreement, to be approved by both Houses of Parliament before it is concluded.
“We expect and intend that this will happen before the European Parliament debates and votes on the final agreement.”
At the committee session yesterday Mr Davis said he expects a transition deal to be agreed early next year.
He said it wouldn’t come at the next European Council, starting on 14 December, as the European Council guidelines will only be in then.
He also insisted free trade terms with the EU could be agreed in just 12 months.