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Brexit deal not 'back door' to staying in EU: Ministers

Brexit deal not 'back door' to staying in EU: Ministers

But they warned this would not be "a back door to staying in the EU".

They said the UK's borders "must continue to operate smoothly", that goods bought on the internet "must still cross borders", and "businesses must still be able to supply their customers across the EU" in the weeks and months after Brexit.

The joint article comes as May's government prepares to publish three papers promising to lay the ground for the next round of Brexit negotiations in Brussels at the end of August.

On his first official visit to Northern Ireland earlier this month, the Taoiseach even put forward his own suggestions for a "soft Brexit" - including the possibility of creating a new EU-UK customs union.

The government's Brexit department said Britain wants to show that progress on the preliminary issues has been made and "we are ready to broaden out the negotiations" by the time of an European Union summit in October.

The EU says those negotiations can't start until sufficient progress has been made on three initial issues: how much money the United Kingdom will have to pay to settle its outstanding commitments to the bloc; whether security checks and customs duties will be instituted on the Irish border; and the status of 3 million EU nationals living in Britain.

In July, EU officials said progress was hard not because Britain had unacceptable demands, but because it had no position at all on many issues.

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Some conservatives, meanwhile, appeared to feel marginalized by the reaction to the memo, according to another question. That's a big challenge when Google's parent company, Alphabet, now employs 76,000 employees around the world.

The next round of talks is due at the end of the month, with both sides looking for progress towards a solution to three of Brexit's thorniest problems: how much Britain should pay to leave, what rights British and European Union citizens will have, and how to manage a land border to the bloc in Ireland.

Brexit Minister David Davis (L) and EU Chief Negotiator in charge of Brexit negotiations Michel Barnier seen at a press conference at the EU Commission Headquarters in Brussels, on July 20, 2017.

The Sunday Telegraph reported that Britain was seeking a "Schengen area" between Britain and Ireland, which would allow free movement of people and a "light-touch customs regime" across the border of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

A second batch of papers will be released ahead of an October meeting of the European Council، when EU leaders are expected to decide whether enough progress has been made to proceed to talks on a future relationship.

James Chapman, a former top aide to Brexit Secretary David Davis, has become an outspoken critic of Britain's looming departure from the 28-nation bloc.

Prime Minister Theresa May formally triggered the Brexit process on March 29 and divorce negotiations officially began on June 19.