Amid criticism, UK government tries to show unity on Brexit

Keywords: Associated Press,

LONDON (AP) The British government is fighting back against criticisms that it is divided and unprepared for Brexit, with two Cabinet rivals over Europe issuing a joint statement.

Trade Secretary Liam Fox, a strong supporter of leaving the European Union, and the more pro-EU Treasury chief Philip Hammond, write in the Sunday Telegraph that there will be a "time-limited" transition period after Britain formally leaves the bloc in 2019.

The government also says it plans to publish a set of detailed proposals on customs arrangements and other issues starting this week.

The EU refuses to negotiate the bloc's post-exit relationship with Britain until sufficient progress has been made on three issues, including the size of U.K.'s exit bill.

Britain wants to show progress so the broader negotiations can start by October.

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The Associated Press

FILE - A Monday July 17, 2017 file photo of EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, right, welcoming British Secretary of State, David Davis, for a meeting at the EU headquarters in Brussels. The British government is fighting back against criticisms that it is divided and unprepared for Brexit, announcing it will publish a set of detailed proposals on customs arrangements, the status of the Ireland-Northern Ireland border and other issues. The Department for Exiting the European Union said Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017, that it would release the first set of position papers this week, more than a year after Britons voted in a referendum to leave the European Union.(AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaer, File)