• The UK will need a transition period to help businesses adjust after Brexit, the chancellor and the international trade secretary have said. In a joint Sunday Telegraph article, Philip Hammond and Liam Fox stressed any deal would not be indefinite or a “back door” to staying in the EU. Their comments are being seen as an attempt to show unity between rival sides in Theresa May’s cabinet. The Liberal Democrats said Mr Hammond had “been brought back in line”. “What this is about is getting Philip Hammond back on track with a hard Brexit program,” Tom Brake, the party’s foreign affairs spokesman, said. “What we don’t know from this letter is exactly how this is going to work. It’s also not clear how long the transition period is going to be.” (BBC)
  • David Davis, the Brexit secretary, is expected to set out more clearly the government’s hopes for a future customs deal with the European Union this week, to help inform the next round of Brexit negotiations. With Theresa May not expected to return to her desk in Downing Street from her holiday until Thursday, the government is keen to show that preparations for Brexit have not ground to a halt. The EU has made clear it will not discuss Britain’s future trading relationship – including customs arrangements – until it has reached agreement on several key issues, including the terms of the financial payments Britain will make on exit and the future status of the border in Northern Ireland. (Guardian)
  • The Government has been accused of refusing to publish more than 50 “secret” studies in the impact of Brexit – for fear they could cause embarrassment to ministers. Brexit minister David Jones confirmed in a letter that the Department for Exiting the European Union had “conducted analysis of over 50 sector of the economy”. But ministers are so far resisting calls to publish the findings of the investigations in full – arguing that some findings “would undermine the Government’s ability to negotiate the best deal for Britain” were they made public. It comes after one leaked piece of research by the Department of Health found that Brexit could cause a shortage of more than 40,000 nurses by 2026. (Independent)
  • Ireland’s EU commissioner has hit out at the UK’s “conflicting messages” over Brexit, saying London should consider staying in Europe’s customs union to reduce risks to trade and the Northern Irish peace deal. Phil Hogan, who is close to the Dublin government, spoke to the Financial Times before the publication of an article by two UK ministers that called for Britain to leave both the customs union and the EU’s single market on exiting the bloc in 2019. The ministers, Philip Hammond, chancellor of the exchequer, and Liam Fox, international trade secretary, also urged a “time limited interim period” to avoid a “cliff edge”. “I think that there’s a high level of delusion in London at the moment about what is required to be done,” Mr Hogan, EU agricultural commissioner, said, reflecting Brussels’ frustration at London’s approach to the talks. “But if there is an appetite for a pragmatic and reasonable outcome to a free-trade agreement, well then membership of the customs union would make a significant contribution to this.” (FT)