United Kingdom seeks Brexit momentum with European Union as key ministers end dispute

Survey reveals Britons want a hard Brexit

Chancellor Philip Hammond and Trade Secretary Liam Fox attend the launch of the Conservative Party election manifesto in May 2017.

The ministers were seen being on opposing sides on Brexit, with Hammond championing a business-friendly approach where Britain gradually leaves the European Union while Fox sought as short a transition as possible, and for Britain to have the freedom to immediately negotiate trade deals.

"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.

The chancellor Philip Hammond and worldwide trade secretary Liam Fox - prominent Remain and Leave advocates respectively - have jointly confirmed there will be a transition period after leaving the European Union and that the country will leave the single market and customs union.

Hammond and Fox are seen as the two ministers at opposite ends of the soft-hard Brexit spectrum and their joint article, which also said the transitional period would be "time-limited", was meant to quash speculation that the cabinet is divided on the issue.

"Once the interim period is over, we want a permanent, treaty-based arrangement between the United Kingdom and the EU which supports the closest possible relationship with the European Union, retaining close ties of security, trade and commerce", Hammond and Fox said.

Chancellor Philip Hammond has been accused of caving in to hard line Cabinet Brexiteers after accepting Britain will withdraw from the European single market and the customs union when it leaves the EU in 20 months' time.

But according to The Times, UK Government ministers are preparing to rebuff the Irish Government, and instead insist on bringing in a customs border.

From this week, the Government is to start
publishing a new series of detailed papers setting out its negotiating position on a range of key issues, amid criticism from Brussels of a lack of clarity about what it wants from the talks. "And has that moment arrived yet?" she wrote in an article for The Mail on Sunday.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Soubry said: "If the prime minister or her successor [in the event of May standing down] is not prepared to confront the ideologues, I gravely fear that the party could split - and that would change Britain's political landscape completely".

"Nobody voted to be poorer past year but that is exactly what will happen if the Government continues to put Eurosceptic dogma ahead of the national interest".

"The referendum will be no excuse if the country is driven off a cliff".

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