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

"But participating in a customs union should not preclude us from formally negotiating - or indeed signing - trade agreements", he will say, while adding that any such deals could not enter into force until the transition period has ended.

Publication of the letter late Friday followed a speech by Brexit minister David Davis, in which he admitted there were "different views" within the government over Britain's departure from the bloc. And there is brewing anxiety among Theresa May's Brexiteer base that what was billed originally as an implementation phase, where we move from one system to another, will be more like two years stuck in aspic.

"Our intention is to mimic the breadth of our current arrangements, from goods to agriculture to financial services, meaning that every business, small or large, will be able to go on trading with the European Union as it does today until it's time to make any changes necessary for the future partnership".

He said it also came after "a blast of internal turbulence" within the Conservative Party over the issue of Brexit.

While attending the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland, UK Chancellor Phillip Hammond insisted that any arrangement reached between the two sides had to include a special deal covering British financial services or the entire process risked collapse.

But Jacob Rees-Mogg warned the Government against delivering "Brino" - Brexit in name only.

Amid growing speculation of a leadership challenge against May, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt this morning was dispatched to the BBC's Today programme to deny the prime minister had been "timid".

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"Theresa May has wasted months of the negotiations, failing to call out the extreme Brexiteers in her party who want the United Kingdom to crash out of Europe without a deal at any costs".

Study calls for protection for more vulnerable British industries due to the threat of a "no-deal" Brexit scenario.

But Business Secretary Greg Clark has now stepped in to reassure Rees-Mogg and other pro-Leave politicians that Britain is "absolutely, unambiguously" leaving the EU.

Clark told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'I think it's very important that as we leave the European Union - which is absolutely, unambiguously the case that we are - that businesses have been very clear all across the country, large businesses and small businesses as well, that we need to take the time to be able to adjust to the new regime.

The Brexit Secretary made clear he will argue for Britain to continue to enjoy the benefits of more than 750 global agreements, including trade deals with non-EU countries, during the transition period. "They are parts of the economy who don't lobby Westminster and rarely get the attention they need", she said.

Finance minister Hammond sparked a row on Thursday when he spelled out his hopes for Brexit, prompting a backlash from eurosceptics who forced him to clarify that he still backed the country's withdrawal from the EU single market and customs union.

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