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September 22, 2017

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UK gov't distances itself from Brexit memo

LONDON--The British government on Monday distanced itself from a memo outlining plans for Brexit spotted as a lawmaker left Downing Street, which included the aim to "have cake and eat it."

"What's the model? Have cake and eat it," read the hand-written paper held by an aide accompanying Mark Field, a London MP for the ruling Conservative Party.

The notes were caught by a photographer as Field left the Department for Exiting the European Union — an office set up in the wake of Britain's shock June 23 vote to leave the bloc.

The Brexit department would not detail the purpose of Field's visit to Downing Street or who he had been meeting.

"These individual notes do not belong to a government official or a special adviser. They do not reflect the government's position in relation to Brexit negotiations," a government spokesperson told AFP.

The memo suggests Britain will fail to keep access to the European single market and will seek to keep the negotiations to two years, rejecting the idea of a lengthier transitional deal aimed at lessening the sudden impact of leaving the EU.

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