UK to Publish Brexit Blueprint as Doubts Swirl over Trade Ties

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Britain will produce a dossier spelling out its Brexit strategy in the coming weeks, the government said Wednesday, as doubts swirl and divisions deepen over trade ties with the EU after the country leaves the bloc.

Brexit Secretary David Davis said the "White Paper" will include "detailed, ambitious and precise explanations" of the government's positions and act as the "most significant publication on the EU since the referendum".

"It will communicate our ambition for the UK's future relationship with the EU, in the context of our vision for the UK's future role in the world," he said.

The paper, to be published ahead of an EU summit next month, will run around 100 pages, UK media reported. 

It follows the first Brexit "White Paper" of February 2017 in which Davis promised the government would seek a "bold and ambitious free trade agreement".

"There's been a huge amount of work that has been going on in different government departments to put flesh on the prime minister's vision of a deep and comprehensive special partnership between us and the EU," Minister for the Cabinet Office David Lidington told BBC Radio 4 Wednesday.

"We want to explain that in detail." 

The new document has been announced despite divisions within Prime Minister Theresa May's cabinet over post-Brexit trade ties with the European Union.

A cabinet meeting on Tuesday failed to heal the rifts between key ministers and the prime minister over proposed arrangements.

May's reported preferred option is the "customs partnership", which would involve Britain collecting EU tariffs on goods heading into the bloc but charging its own on UK-destined products.

A second option, "maximum facilitation", would involve using technology to minimise customs checks.

Brussels has condemned May's vision for arrangements as "magical thinking". To complicate matters further, Davis has reportedly told May her favoured model would be illegal under international law.

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