Dominic Raab: Britain making plans for a 'Brexit no deal'

Dominic Raab: Britain making plans for a 'Brexit no deal'”

But senior politicians here remain to be convinced the United Kingdom prime minister's bid to take back control will yield any real progress.

Downing Street confirmed that it will be Mr Raab who travels regularly to Brussels for direct talks with European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

But Raab was upbeat, saying he believed Britain would get a good deal with the European Union, though that it would be a challenge to get an agreement on the future trading relationship by Brexit day in March next year.

The former cabinet minister John Whittingdale, a Brexiter, suggested that Raab and Robbins should swap roles, as the civil servant was "clearly in charge", a suggestion that the Brexit secretary denied.

She said Raab's Department for Exiting the EU (DExEU), which was set up after the 2016 referendum to lead the Brexit process, would be refocused on domestic preparations, including for no deal being struck with Brussels.

A shift in responsibility has been under way for months, as Davis was increasingly sidelined by Robbins before he quit - in what one eurosceptic MP suggested on Tuesday was a "coup d'état".

"This is absolutely devastating news to the 17.4 million people that voted to leave the European Union as we now look set for Brexit In Name Only", said Richard Tice of campaign group Leave Means Leave.

The Times reported Doug Gurr, head of United Kingdom and Ireland business for Amazon, privately met with Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and other business leaders on Friday.

May's blueprint for the future relationship, formally unveiled in early July, envisages a free trade area for goods through a "facilitated customs arrangement" alongside a "common rulebook" with the EU.

After resigning as foreign minister last week over Prime Minister Theresa May's compromise plan for Brexit, Boris Johnson is back at his old job as a columnist at the eurosceptic Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Meanwhile the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, warned remaining member states and businesses to "step up preparations" for no deal.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier on Friday said that the UK government's white paper for a future UK-EU partnership opened "the way to a constructive discussion", adding however that the EU27 still have many questions about the plan.

"What we will make sure, and the idea that we only get food imports from one continent is not appropriate, but we will look at this issue in the round and make sure there is adequate food supply".

The UK government issued a policy document on legislation it says is needed to implement the terms of any final exit deal negotiated between London and Brussels, once it has been approved in principle by parliament.

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