United Kingdom says it will not stay in European Union via 'back door'


Britain needs a transition period to soften its exit from the European Union, but it can not be used to stop Brexit, two senior ministers said on Sunday, signalling a truce between rival factions in Prime Minister Theresa May's cabinet.

"We will leave the customs union and be free to negotiate the best trade deals around the world as an independent, open, trading nation", the ministers said, adding that the government was committed to make sure there "will not be a cliff-edge when we leave the EU in just over 20 months' time".

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

They said the UK's borders "must continue to operate smoothly", that goods bought on the internet "must still cross borders", and "businesses must still be able to supply their customers across the EU" in the weeks and months after Brexit.

The government will this week publish the first of three discussion papers ahead of the next round of negotiations, scheduled to start August 28 in Brussels, Brexit Secretary David Davis's office said in a statement on Sunday. We want our economy to remain strong and vibrant through this period of change.

The thawing in relations comes at a critical time for the prime minister whose leadership was challenged by the poor showing at the general election in June.

After weeks of arguing, two senior British ministers have written an article agreeing the United Kingdom needs a transition period to soften the exit from the EU.

The U.K.is seeking to regain momentum in so-far sluggish Brexit negotiations in the hope the European Union won't delay the start of trade talks beyond October.

"Could I ever see myself joining with like-minded people who want to save our country from such an appalling fate? The people, not the hardline Brexiteers, are in charge", she wrote in an article for the Mail on Sunday.

"The answer to the first question is "it is not impossible"; the answer to the second is "no".

Meanwhile, former labour foreign secretary David Miliband has called for politicians on all sides to unite to fight back against the "worst consequences" of Brexit.

In recent weeks, the Taoiseach has made plain his growing frustration with Britain's failure to come up with workable proposals in the 14 months since last year's European Union referendum.

The survey which will hand Theresa May a huge boost grilled respondents over a series of conditions imposed on Britain as a result of being in the bloc, rather than being asked simply whether they support European Union membership or not. The timing and content has been governed by factions in the Tory party.