Downing St spokesman at odds with what chancellor is believed to have told business leaders about post-2019 arrangements

Downing Street has insisted that the UK will not seek an “off-the-shelf” model for a post-Brexit transitional period, contradicting the position Philip Hammond is believed to have expressed to business leaders.

The chancellor has been pressing for a simple transition arrangement to maintain trading conditions with Europe for at least two years after Brexit, mirroring arrangements the EU has with countries such as Norway and Switzerland giving them access to the single market.

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