UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak rejected calls from the strongest business lobby, the Confederation of British Industry, CBI, for closer ties with the European Union to address damaging trade barriers born out of Brexit, and also ruled out softer immigration rules to help with labor shortages.
UK unemployment fell by 65,000 to 1.36 million in three months to June - the lowest for more than 40 years, official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show. They also show a rise in productivity, but a slowdown in wage growth.
The UK has set out the ambitious new customs arrangement it wants to secure with the EU after Brexit. Ministers said the plans would mean the freest and most frictionless possible trade with the rest of Europe and could include a temporary customs union after Brexit to prevent border problems as the UK leaves the EU.
The UK should stay in the single market and customs union until a final Brexit deal is in force, according to the CBI. Carolyn Fairbairn, head of the business lobby group, said it was impossible that all the details of a new trade deal with the European Union would be in place by March 2019. That is when talks about the UK's withdrawal are due to formally finish.