Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
Economy | By Annette Adams

UK Expected To Unveil Post-Brexit NI Border Plan This Week

UK Expected To Unveil Post-Brexit NI Border Plan This Week

Chancellor Philip Hammond and the International Trade Secretary Liam Fox have jointly made the suggestion in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper.

"We will leave the customs union and be free to negotiate the best trade deals around the world as an independent, open, trading nation", the ministers said, adding that the government was committed to make sure there "will not be a cliff-edge when we leave the EU in just over 20 months' time".

Prime Minister Theresa May then called a snap election in an attempt to increase her Conservative Party's majority in Parliament and strengthen her negotiating hand.

The government says it hopes to persuade the 27 other European Union nations to start negotiating a "deep and special" future relationship that would include a free trade deal between Britain and the EU.

With Ms May due to return from her summer holiday, the article appeared created to end party feuding as well as ongoing speculation that the United Kingdom might somehow be able to salvage membership of the single market through negotiations with the EU.

Negotiations between Britain and the EU، which began in late June، have so far produced no concrete results، and Brussels has asked London to provide a clear position on key Brexit issues by the end of August.

"We will leave the single market, because there was a vote for change on 23 June and that is what we will deliver".

"That is why we believe a time-limited interim period will be important to further our national interest and give business greater certainty - but it can not be indefinite; it can not be a back door to staying in the EU", Mr Hammond and Mr Fox wrote.

In what was due to be published this week, British government ministers planned to set out their aims for the Brexit talks.

The article's publication comes as the prime minister returns from holiday and ministers prepare to publish papers on Britain's Brexit plans covering the Irish border, the customs union, fisheries, and agriculture over the next 10 days. The EU bloc's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said last month there was "a clock ticking" on the Brexit talks.

The Labour ex-cabinet minister described the outcome of the 2016 referendum as an "unparalleled act of economic self-harm".

"We've been crystal clear that issues around our withdrawal and our future partnership are inextricably linked, and the negotiations so far have reinforced that view", a source in Britain's Brexit department said. Hammond, who campaigned to remain in the European Union prior to last June's vote, has publicly made clear that he favours a softer Brexit numerous times, and is believed to have frequently clashed with May over her approach to leaving the bloc.

"Pulling Britain out of the single market and the customs union in 2019 will drive our economy over a cliff edge, putting jobs and family finances at risk", he said.

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