Boris Johnson tears into Prime Minister's "crazy" customs plan
11 May, 2018, 01:41 | Author: Elaine Woods
Brexiteers want May to agree to a streamlined customs arrangement in which new technology and "trusted trader" schemes minimise the need for checks on goods at the border between the United Kingdom and Ireland.
But Tories who want to keep the United Kingdom inside the customs union are plotting to join the opposition Labour Party to defeat May in a crucial vote on the issue that could come later this month.
Businesses would claim back any tariff rebates from the Government if the goods stayed in the UK.
The UK would collect tariffs set by the EU customs union on goods coming into the UK on behalf of the EU.
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Mr Clark said it could be a case of implementing a new customs arrangement "as soon as you can do", as he highlighted the threat to potentially thousands of jobs of additional border checks.
Clark said it would take time for the new arrangements to be sorted out. He is someone who will do the right thing for Ireland.
How to make Britain's new border with the European Union "as frictionless as possible" when it leaves the bloc is becoming a headache. "Goods could then flow freely from Britain to the rest of the European Union and across the Irish border without further tariffs or rules of origin checks", says the Financial Times.
With May facing a series of crunch Commons votes MPs on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill this month, Grieve warned: "I'm going to put country before party on this matter".
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Eurosceptics have urged Mrs May to drop the proposal for a "customs partnership" which they fear would tie the United Kingdom too closely to Brussels.
Elsewhere, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also risked unrest within his party over Labour's position on Brexit ahead of a Lords vote on the issue.
"The party must pick sides", he said.
Main Brexiteer Jacob Rees Mogg mentioned immediately it was one other instance of "Mission Concern" taking up once more.
The new round in the increasingly bitter battle over Britain's future relations with Europe was triggered by the business secretary setting out how devastating customs checks would be for major employers such as the auto industry.
"We have a very successful one in North Wales, but there are choices as to whether that should be located on the Continent". "So this requirement to do what it takes to get that frictionless - minimum of frictions, is something that we've made a public commitment to and we need to make sure that we get that right".
But Remainers in the cabinet have hit back in recent days, with Business Secretary Greg Clark insisting that the idea remained "on the table" and would minimise border disruption and job losses.
Downing Street delays further discussion of the issue at Cabinet as officials seek a compromise. Rees-Mogg, who heads the European Research Group, immediately claimed "project fear" was being revived.
What is a customs union?
May's Cabinet is split between ministers including Johnson who favor a clean-break "hard Brexit", which would leave Britain freer to strike new trade deals around the world, and those including Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond who want to keep closely aligned to the EU, Britain's biggest trading partner.
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