Britain wants talks with the European Union to move on to the next phase of Brexit, as it sets out details of the future relationship it wants with the bloc.
“We need to get on with negotiating the bigger issues around our future partnership to ensure we get a deal that delivers a strong UK and EU,” Brexit minister David Davis said in a statement on August 13.
As reported by the Reuters news agency, Britain’s call to move forward with Brexit talks came as finance minister Philip Hammond and trade minister Liam Fox presented a united front that there should be a time-limited transition period – signalling a truce between rival factions in Prime Minister Theresa May‘s cabinet.
Davis’ Brexit department said it was preparing to publish several papers, including plans for a new customs arrangement and a proposal on how to resolve the difficulties of a non-physical border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.
“We’ve been crystal clear that issues around our withdrawal and our future partnership are inextricably linked,” a source in Britain’s Brexit department said.
“These papers show we are ready to broaden out the negotiations.”
Talks so far have focused on how much Britain should pay to leave the EU, what rights British and EU citizens will have, and how to manage a land border to the bloc in Ireland. The two sides will be looking for a solution to those issues at the next round of talks due at the end of this month.
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, reported Reuters.
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.
The Sunday Telegraph reported that Britain was seeking a “Schengen area” between Britain and Ireland, which would allow free movement of people and a “light-touch customs regime” across the border of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Other papers also address “Continuity in the availability of goods for the EU and the UK” and “Confidentiality and access to official documents”, the Brexit department said.