Published: Tue, January 30, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Britain Wants Access To EU's Existing Trade Deals During Brexit Implementation

Britain Wants Access To EU's Existing Trade Deals During Brexit Implementation

But he added: "Participating in a customs union should not and will not preclude us from formally negotiating and indeed signing independent trade agreements - although of course they will not enter into force until the implementation period has ended".

Britain has raised little public objection to terms that include insisting that even European Union citizens who arrive in Britain after Brexit - but before the end of the transition - will be entitled to residence rights for life.

Rees-Mogg, an increasingly-influential voice within the Tory party, said on Thursday that he "profoundly" disagreed with Hammond, who he said "must have been affected by high mountain air" in Davos.

Time and again, in tones of polite but unrelenting hostility, Rees-Mogg tries to make Davis concede that during the planned transition period towards Britain's separation from the EU, Britain will be what he calls an EU "vassal state", bound by EU regulations and laws, but no longer a member of the EU bodies that make the rules.

He said that Brexit would allow Britain to shift its balance of trade to nations outside of the EU.

Tensions over post-Brexit relations between the United Kingdom and the European Union resurfaced after Finance Minister Philip Hammond said on Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos that his country wanted "the closest possible relationship" with the European Union after Brexit.

Mr Davis will have a tough time selling the transition period to his party, as its potential terms split even the wider public.

Davis stressed government unity on Friday, saying that while there would be "arguments about the tactics", Hammond and the prime minister fundamentally agreed on the way forward.

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"It's a fact our economies are integrated, that's the baseline from which we leave the single market and customs union - which clearly represents change", he said on Twitter.

Opposition Labour lawmaker Hilary Benn, the chairman of parliament's cross-party Brexit scrutiny committee, said Davis had offered nothing new in his speech.

More than 2,500 people - business leaders, politicians such as Donald Trump, diplomats and the odd celebrity, such as Cate Blanchett - will fly in for the 48th annual Davos meeting.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said it was "absolutely wrong" to accuse Mrs May of a "timid" approach to Brexit.

"We actually start with 100% alignment and that means - and this is the crucial point that he was making - is that we should be able to expect very limited and possibly no changes to market access as a result of the free trade deal we negotiate".

"At the beginning when we are out, there will be very, very little initial difference between the standards that apply in our country and on the continent of Europe and access to the markets will continue with very little disruption. That is something we can be very positive about".

An FDF spokesman said: "We welcome the clarity from government on its ambition for the transition period".

Furious Tory MPs threatened to oppose Government Brexit legislation in protest in the latest threat to Theresa May's dwindling authority.

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