May's office said she stressed the importance of engaging with the business community to design the proposed implementation arrangements, and promised to have continued meetings with a wide variety of business voices.
Aside from uncertainty over how a new European Union border with Ireland will work and differences over rights for expatriates after Brexit, a standoff over tens of billions of euros that Brussels argues Britain will owe on departure seems far from resolution.
Danish Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen, however, called for compromise, saying "this will never be a 100 percent win for one side or the other side". The EU is insisting that until "sufficient progress" is made on that issue, along with citizens' rights and the Irish border, it will not open up talks about the future, something the European commission had originally planned to happen at a summit in Brussels on 19 October. "We are talking about a political agreement between two parties", he said.
A senior government official told the Guardian that ministers remained deeply pessimistic about the hopes of adequate progress in this round of talks or those that will start in November. May's de facto deputy, Damian Green, also said she would carry on.
Even though the firm was reportedly denying the decision was related to Brexit, the move will inevitably fuel the sense that British industry is struggling without a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU.
If they don't agree then they wouldn't get another chance until a summit in December before leaving the bloc formally on March 29, 2019.
In a foreword to the customs paper, Finance Minister Philip Hammond also underlined the importance of a transition period after Brexit to allow businesses to adjust to new rules and avoid a "cliff-edge" scenario. The EU27 are adamant that all phase one issues must be addressed to their satisfaction before any talk of the future relationship. Shortly after that, Labour announced that it was in favor of a post-Brexit transitional period of between two and four years, during which the United Kingdom would remain in the EU's single market and customs union.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was dismissive about the Prime Minister's latest update, telling MPs that "no real progress" had been made, 16 months on from the Brexit vote.
'And as we look forward to the next stage, the ball is in their court.
Senior government sources said the prime minister's statement made clear that she had "offered what we were going to offer" in her speech in Florence and it was now up to the European Union leaders to decide whether sufficient progress had been made to move the...
"We think the prime minister should stand aside now voluntarily so there can be a leadership election as soon as possible", Shapps told Bloomberg in a phone interview.
"We want to be ready for all eventualities, including "no deal", he told business and labour representatives after the negotiations began in July.
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