Offering brighter future, UK's Davis tries to convince on European Union transition


"We will not be subject to the duty of honest cooperation, which is what stops us arriving at trade deals now, negotiating and signing trade deals now, so that freedom will exist".

These can not be described as "very modest changes", the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the subject is sensitive.

"But obviously with the clock ticking. the British administration reaches out and we understand that, but they can not start negotiating before Britain has left on March 31, 2019", she added.

The problem for the government is that Rees-Mogg is not just a lone uncompromising Brexiteer - he is now the chair of the all-powerful Brexit wing of the party, know as the European Research Group. "We have our future and our destiny in our hands".

He paid tribute the speech CBI director-general Caroline Fairbairn gave earlier this week which called for Britain to remain in the customs union after it leaves the EU. "For the contribution it made to the ongoing debate", he said. "It was a walk in the mountain air that inspired the prime minister to call a general election, so I am discouraging her from any strolls".

"I'm a little bit puzzled by the chancellor's comments", Duncan Smith said.

"Firstly we will not be members of the union, we will be replicating to a very large extent the operations of the single market and customs union in order to make sure there is a single change, from the point of view of businesses in particular", he said. "All of that was very explicit in the manifesto signed up to by the government".

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The City of London has given up on hopes of retaining the full single market "passport" after the United Kingdom exits the hoped-for two-year transition period due to begin in March 2019, but many in the Square Mile are pressing for a regulatory "equivalence" or "mutual recognition" deal, which would allow more of the current range of cross-border financial business to continue.

"But we say clearly, we can't just take what we want in the European Union and not take what we don't", he stressed.

While Britain's economy has performed better than the BoE forecast after the June 2016 referendum, it grew at the slowest pace of all Group of Seven rich economies over the first three quarters of 2017.

Mr Blair said Brexit was harming the country by distracting policy-makers' attention away from the key issue, to which they should be devoting "immense amounts of time and effort", of preparing Britain for the impact of transformative technological advances.

"The British people did not vote for that". They did not vote for the management of decline.

This collision between the Conservative Party's soft and hard Brexiteers comes amid more speculation about May's future as party leader.