Hammond and Fox try to present united cabinet front over Brexit by penning joint Telegraph article


Hammond manifesto
Chancellor
Philip Hammond (L), Conservative Party Chairman Patrick
McLoughlin (M), and International Trade Secretary Liam Fox
(R).

Reuters

LONDON — Chancellor Philip Hammond and International Trade
Secretary Liam Fox have attempted to quell any accusations of a
divide within the government over the UK’s approach to Brexit.


Writing in a joint article in the Sunday Telegraph,
two of
Prime Minister Theresa May’s most senior ministers said that the
UK will seek a transition deal for leaving the EU, but that any
deal will not be a “back door” to staying in the bloc and would
be limited in its time period.

“We want our economy to remain strong and vibrant through
this period of change. That means businesses need to have
confidence that there will not be a cliff-edge when we leave the
EU in just over twenty months’ time,” the pair write.

“That is why we believe a time-limited interim period will
be important to further our national interest and give business
greater certainty – but it cannot be indefinite; it cannot be a
back door to staying in the EU.

Hammond and Fox have previously been seen to be sitting on
two different sides of the Brexit fence. Hammond, who campaigned
to remain in the EU prior to last June’s vote, has publicly made
clear that he favours a softer Brexit numerous times, and is
believed to have frequently clashed with May over her approach to
leaving the bloc. 

Fox on the other hand, is a
staunch Brexiteer.

However, Sunday’s joint article appears to be an attempt to
put to bed rumours and reports that May’s cabinet is deeply
divided on what kind of Brexit Britain should be looking
at.

In recent weeks numerous newspapers have reported cabinet
splits, with ministers leaking confidential details of
meetings



in what appeared to be the first stages of a battle
to succeed May as PM.

Continuing, the pair write that any transition “must ensure a
smooth and predictable pathway for businesses and citizens alike.
We are both clear that during this period the UK will be outside
the single market and outside the customs union and will be a
‘third-country’ not party to EU treaties.”

“But we are also clear that during this period our borders must
continue to operate smoothly; goods bought on the internet must
still cross borders; businesses must still be able to supply
their customers across the EU and our innovative, world-leading
companies must be able to hire the talent they need, including
from within the EU.”

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