September 22, 2017 / 9:25 PM / a year ago

Britain says Moody's downgrade based on 'outdated' Brexit view

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s government said on Friday that a decision by ratings agency Moody’s to downgrade the country’s credit rating was based on an “outdated” assessment of its plans to leave the European Union.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks at the Complesso Santa Maria Novella, Florence, Italy September 22, 2017. REUTERS/Jeff J Mitchell/Pool

Moody’s lowered Britain’s sovereign credit rating to ‘Aa2’ with a stable outlook from ‘Aa1.’

“The assessments made about Brexit in this report are outdated,” a government spokesperson said in a statement provided by the finance ministry.

Earlier on Friday, Prime Minister Theresa May gave a speech in Italy setting out her wish for a transition period of around two years after Britain leaves the EU in March 2019.

“The Prime Minister has just set out an ambitious vision for the UK’s future relationship with the EU, making clear that both sides will benefit from a new and unique partnership,” the government spokesperson said.

“We have made substantial progress in reducing the deficit while finding extra money for the National Health Service and social care at the same time. We are not complacent about the challenges ahead but we are optimistic about our bright future,” the spokesperson added.

Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by William Schomberg

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