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They are trying to show a united front, after weeks of arguing between ministers, and they insist Britain will leave the the single market and customs union in March 2019.

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.

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. "That means businesses need to have confidence that there will not be a cliff-edge when we leave the European Union in just over twenty months' time".

David Davis, the Brexit secretary said the publication of the papers, which will begin this week, would mark "an important next step" towards delivering last year's referendum vote to leave the EU.

Britain is ready to move to the next phase of Brexit talks and set out details of the future relationship it wants with the EU.

It added that businesses should be assured there would be no "cliff edge" despite fears expressed that the UK could crash out of the EU without reaching a deal, which would see UK-EU relations revert to World Trade Organisation rules.

But they warned this would not be "a back door to staying in the EU".

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.

It's preparing to publish several papers, including plans for a new customs arrangement and a proposal on how to resolve the difficulties of a land border in Ireland.

The UK is now due to leave the European Union at the end of March 2019 after almost 52 percent of Britons opted to leave the bloc during the European Union referendum in June a year ago.

"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".

"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.

Mr Davis is due to embark on a third round of Brexit talks with the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier in the Belgian capital at the end of August.


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