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Published: Mon, May 14, 2018
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Michael Gove Deals Another Blow To May's 'Flawed' Brexit Customs Plan

Michael Gove Deals Another Blow To May's 'Flawed' Brexit Customs Plan

Gove, one of the leading Leave campaigners ahead of the 2016 referendum, said the result of that vote showed the British people want the United Kingdom to be free from the EU customs union.

The resignation of a key ally left Mrs May outnumbered in her inner "war cabinet" over her proposal for a close customs relationship with the bloc, while the Sunday Telegraph reported that at least 12 ministers - of 28 who sit in Cabinet with Mrs May - are set to oppose her plan.

However, the environment secretary also expressed scepticism about the merits of an alternative customs proposal, saying the customs partnership model had flaws and needed to be tested.

He told Marr he had qualms about the customs partnership model, defending Boris Johnson, who described the plan as insane in an interview earlier this week.

It is one of two post-Brexit trade options under consideration by the Cabinet, with the other - dubbed "maximum facilitation", or "max fac" - seeing the United Kingdom relying on technology to streamline customs processes with the EU. Max fac or maximum facilitation accepts the need for a customs border, including in Ireland, and depends on the development of technology to make it as frictionless as possible.

The customs partnership would see Britain collect import duty on behalf of Brussels when companies buy goods from non-EU countries that are destined to be sold to buyers on the continent. Irish Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney said on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show that the premier's customs partnership idea could be the basis of negotiation between the two sides.

Environment Minister Michael Gove, a prominent "Leave" supporter in the 2016 referendum campaign, said neither proposal was absolutely ideal.

"I will need your help and support to get there".

Coveney said: "If we are expecting to get this concluded by the end of October, is it unreasonable for the Irish government to ask for significant progress on a hugely important issue by the end of June, when it is actually factored into the European Union negotiating guidelines that there would be a reassessment by the end of June?"

Sir Nick Clegg, the former Lib Dem leader, will share a platform with the former Labour Foreign Secretary David Miliband and former Tory Education Secretary Nicky Morgan. 'There will have to be compromises, ' she wrote in her article. He called for a "comprehensive customs union" that would allow Britain to retain the benefits of single market membership.

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