UK Seeks to Convince EU It's Ready to Advance Brexit Talks

Chancellor Philip Hammond, a strong Remain campaigner, and Trade Secretary Liam Fox, a leading Brexiteer, put on a display of unity with a joint pledge that echoes Theresa May's oft-repeated remark that "Brexit means Brexit".

"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 European Union and our innovative, world-leading companies must be able to hire the talent they need, including from within the European Union", the article read.

Writing in the Observer, he said: "People say we must respect the referendum".

The first set of papers will include one covering the thorny issue of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

The government's Brexit department said Britain wants to show that progress on the preliminary issues has been made and "we are ready to broaden out the negotiations" by the time of an European Union summit in October.

Talks so far have focused on how much Britain should pay to leave the European Union, what rights British and European Union citizens will have, and how to manage a land border to the bloc in Ireland.

The decision to announce the publication of papers on its plans indicates Britain's desire to counter criticism from Brussels about its approach to the talks.

That will come alongside other documents setting out how Britain's involvement in the customs union with other EU countries this week.

A British paper focused on "issues unique to Northern Ireland and Ireland" is expected ahead of the talks, but no further details of the proposal were provided on Sunday.

In June, Fox said that the United Kingdom government expected the Brexit transition period to finish until the next general election scheduled for 2022.

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.

Also, details of future arrangements including Britain's proposals for a customs agreement with the EU will be released prior to a meeting of the European Council in Brussels in October. The first of these will set out proposals for a new customs agreement, it said.

They write that there will be a "time-limited" transition period that would "further our national interest and give business greater certainty", but insist that Brexit will not be halted.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has also called for pro-EU politicians from all parties to unite.

Vanessa Coleman

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