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Philip Hammond and Liam Fox vow Brexit transition will be no 'back door' to EU

Liam Fox and Philip Hammond have attempt to paper over divisions on Brexit Credit: PA

Cabinet ministers from different ends of the Brexit spectrum have attempted to end infighting over Britain's transition away from the EU, with Philip Hammond and Liam Fox jointly stressing the UK will completely leave the single market and customs union after Brexit in 2019.

In an article in the Sunday Telegraph, the chancellor of the exchequer and the secretary for international trade attempt to paper over divisions that have emerged in the cabinet.

The two ministers, who represent the Remain and Leave wings of the Tory party respectively, write that Britain will not stay in the EU by the "back door".

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.

The article comes as ministers prepare to publish a new series papers detailing their aims for the Brexit talks amid criticism about a lack of clarity over the government's negotiating position.

David Davis sees the publication of the papers as an 'important next step' towards Brexit Credit: PA

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.

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

A second batch of papers, to be released in the run-up to the October meeting of the European Council in Brussels, will look at "future partnership" arrangements, including the UK's proposals for a new customs agreement with the EU.

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.

Progress appears to have been slow, with Mr Barnier reportedly warning EU ambassadors the first two rounds had failed to produce sufficient clarity on the opening issues of the Irish border, the rights of EU citizens in the UK, and Britain's "divorce bill".