Published: Thu, August 17, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

British ministers: Brexit transition period "will be important" for businesses

British ministers: Brexit transition period

Hammond, who is critical of Brexit, and Fox, who is in favour a clear break with the European Union, suggested no specific time period for the transitional phase, but stressed that their country would leave the European Union in March 2019 and "not stay by the back door".

Mr Hammond and Dr Fox appeared to settle their differences with a joint article in the Sunday Telegraph saying Britain will completely leave the Single Market and Customs Union after Brexit in 2019.

"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".

They want the country's economy remained "strong and energetic" after this period of change.

The two leading politicians said the government wanted to ensure "there will not be a cliff-edge when we leave the EU".

The article stressed that any "interim period" would be time-limited and "cannot be a back door to staying in the EU" - while also allowing borders "to operate smoothly".

"We are both clear that during this period the United Kingdom will be outside the customs union and will be a 'third country", not a party to EU treaties'.

German growth slower, but still strong ahead of election
The figure was down from a 0.7 per cent pace in the first quarter and slightly weaker than market expectations of 0.7 per cent. Germany maintained its solid economic performance, despite an unexpected yet mild slowdown in the second quarter.

Brexit Secretary David Davis said on Sunday the papers would mark an "important next step" towards delivering on last year's vote to leave the EU.

The finance minister's Brexit department said it would publish some papers, including plans for a new customs arrangement and how to resolve the problems of a non-existent border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Prime Minister Theresa May will hope the intervention of the two Ministers will cool temperatures in the Tory ranks amid divisions over Brexit and speculation of a possible leadership challenge when MPs return to Westminster in September.

The government also said on Sunday it wants to increase pressure on the 27 other European Union nations to start negotiating a future relationship that would include a free trade deal between Britain and the EU.

Yesterday's article shows that the Brexiteers have won that argument, with Hammond having to concede the transition can not be a "black door to staying in the EU". Prime Minister Theresa May wants an accord before leaving. He said: "Over the summer we heard that Philip Hammond was courageously fighting off the more extreme Brexiteers".

Pro-EU lawmaker Anna Soubry, who has previously said that June's election result means that the party has no mandate to take Britain out of the single market, said the party could split if May gives staunch eurosceptics too much sway. "I've seen them work very closely together, they".

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