Brexit transition would not be way to remain — Hammond and Fox


In an article in the Sunday Telegraph, the chancellor of the exchequer and the secretary for worldwide trade attempt to paper over divisions that have emerged in the cabinet.

The papers will outline the UK's negotiating position on areas such as our customs arrangements, including the issue of whether there should be a border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

"We've been crystal clear that issues around our withdrawal and our future partnership are inextricably linked", a source in Britain's Brexit department said.

"These papers show we are ready to broaden out the negotiations", the source said.

The first will be a proposal for new customs arrangements.

The decision to announce the publication of papers on its plans indicates Britain's desire to counter criticism from Brussels about its approach to the talks.

The article was published as a former foreign secretary, David Miliband, issued a call in the Observer for politicians on all sides to fight back against the "worst consequences" of last year's vote for Britain to leave the EU.

Free movement for Irish citizens in and out of Britain is expected to continue after Brexit, with the establishment of a Schengen-style area between Ireland and Britain created to resolve the border problem. The Brexit department declined to comment on the story.

Sources at Britain's department for exiting the European Union said the "future partnership" papers would show that the British government was ready to move on to the next stage of the negotiations.

Separate papers would also address "Continuity in the availability of goods for the European Union and the UK" and " Confidentiality and access to official documents", the Brexit department said.

Prime Minister Theresa May formally triggered the Brexit process on March 29 and divorce negotiations officially began on June 19.

A second batch of papers, to be released in the run-up to the October meeting of the European Council in Brussels, will look at "future partnership" arrangements between the United Kingdom and the EU, including the UK's proposals for a new customs arrangement with the bloc. The first of these will set out proposals for a new customs agreement, it said.

Philip Hammond, the chancellor, and worldwide trade secretary, Liam Fox, have come together to declare that a post-Brexit transition would not be a "back door" to Britain remaining in the EU.

"But we are also clear that during this period our borders must continue to operate smoothly; goods bought on the internet must still cross borders; businesses must still be able to supply their customers across the European Union and our innovative, world-leading companies must be able to hire the talent they need, including from within the European Union".