Davis promises independent United Kingdom amid fresh Brexit tensions

Theresa May and Donald Trump shake hands at the White House last January- after which both sides made positive noises about a trade deal

In late 2017 the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier caused consternation in the British business community when he announced that United Kingdom financial organizations would lose their "passporting rights" to operate within the bloc once the United Kingdom leaves in 2019.

U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has set out his vision for a Brexit deal that is only "very modestly" different from the terms of European Union membership, as he poked fun at his hard-line euroskeptic colleague, Boris Johnson.

The other 27 member states have also agreed to consider an extension to the transition period if more time is needed to conclude the free trade accord, which both sides say they want to have in place and working by January 2021.

In particular, Rees-Mogg, who drew large crowds at last year's party conference and topped a recent poll of Conservative members for who should be party's next leader, stressed that Britain must leave the customs union: an issue on which Brexiters fear there has been backsliding inside government.

Amid reports that Eurosceptics are also anxious that Mrs May was being bounced into a "soft Brexit" by civil servants as she lacks authority, a Number 10 source said: "The PM triggered Article 50, she set direction of the Brexit negotiations in her Lancaster House and Florence speeches and personally secured the deal that led to sufficient progress".

Britain's Brexit, finance and business ministers displayed a united front on Friday with a letter seeking to reassure eurosceptics anxious over the country's path out of the European Union.

"Although, of course, they would not enter into force until the implementation period has ended".

This was pounced upon by leading Brexiteers such as Tory backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg who claimed it was evidence that Mrs May's top team had been "cowed" by the EU's negotiators.

The Chancellor said the Government expected the "high-level shape" of an agreement to be "emerging", but did not commit to a full deal having been negotiated before the House of Commons and House of Lords have their say.

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Image Steven Mnuchin spoke of the 'special relationship' between the US and UK

"We'll deliver that on a frictionless access to the single market and a political and economic freedom for us in the future".

Now, he has launched a scathing verbal assault on Davis - breaking from the Tory pretense that everything in the Brexit negotiations is in hand.

"There are people that wanted to stay in the EU customs union, we reject that argument", he told Sky News at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Ministers have, after vigorous lobbying from business, accepted that not very much will change as the clock strikes midnight on Brexit day.

The UK's so-called "Brexit Minister" David Davis has said the UK should be permitted to negotiate and sign trade deals during a transition period following its exit from the European Union.

Hammond's words were disavowed by Prime Minister Theresa May, one of whose spokespersons said London's will to pull out of the single market and customs union "could not be described as very modest changes".

These can not be described as "very modest changes", the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the subject is sensitive.

The topic continues to deeply divide Theresa May's cabinet. "It was a walk in the mountain air that inspired the prime minister to call a general election, so I am discouraging her from any strolls".

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