Chancellor Philip Hammond has dismissed the idea Britain will develop a Canada-style trade deal with the EU, saying a bespoke Brexit arrangement was more likely.
Hammond, on an official visit to China, made the comments at a press conference this morning, flanked by Chinese vice premier Ma Kai and Chinese vice finance minister Shi Yaobin.
Shi gave the British government a vote of confidence by saying China believes a Brexit deal can be agreed that is satisfactory for both sides.
On Friday, EU leaders agreed to move Brexit talks onto future trade arrangements. As part of the deal, Britain will stay in the customs union, single market and under the European Court of Justice's jurisdiction during a two-year transition period after the country's EU withdrawal in 2019.
Former chancellor Ken Clarke backed the plans, telling BBC Newsnight on Friday the UK must not "go off a cliff edge". He warned of the catastrophic impact of leaving the EU in March 2019 while trade and customs talks were not finalised.
However, leading Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg warned the latest terms put the UK in a "ridiculous position" of becoming an EU "colony" during the two-year transition period.
"The transition which the EU is offering means that we're still effectively in the European Union for the following two years," he told Newsnight.