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Ministers meet to thrash out Brexit end deal


The EU has agreed that Brexit negotiations can now move on to discussing the UK and the EU's future relationship. Until now they have only been discussing "divorce" issues like how much money the UK owes. Not everyone agrees how closely aligned the UK should stay to EU trade rules. Group calls for a 'shared market' with EU.

The full cabinet will hold another discussion on Tuesday.

BBC assistant political editor Norman Smith said there was a "clear divide" between ministers, with some like Chancellor Philip Hammond and Home Secretary Amber Rudd calling for the UK to stick closely to the EU's single market to preserve access for British firms.

On the other side others, like Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, want more divergence so the UK has more freedom to strike its own trade deals with other countries.

The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier has said there is "no way" the UK will be able to select just the good bits of all the possible arrangements.

After the UK leaves the EU in March 2019, but before the final "end state" is reached, the government wants a temporary "implementation period" of about two years. This is what negotiations are expected to focus on in the coming weeks.

The EU's negotiating position makes clear that it expects the UK to observe all of its rules - including on freedom of movement - and accept the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice during the implementation, or transition, period.

Labour's shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner has said it would be a "real problem" for business if, as expected, the EU did not start talking about trade until March.

He has also said Labour would not put a time limit on a post-Brexit transition phase, because the expected two-year period would be "extremely tight".

Source - http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-42385002