Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Shadow Brexit minister: 'Nothing off the table' over EU Customs Union

Shadow Brexit minister: 'Nothing off the table' over EU Customs Union

Brexiteers led by Boris Johnson, David Davis and Michael Gove blocked her favoured "customs partnership" model.

The British government on Wednesday, May 16, said a detailed Brexit strategy dossier will be made public in the coming weeks amid chaos over charges that divisions in the cabinet were creating roadblocks with the European Union (EU) with which the United Kingdom is seeking a divorce.

European Union leaders will assess the Brexit talks' progress next month.

May said three of her objectives - to forge an independent trade policy; a frictionless trade with the European Union and avoid disruption between Ireland and Northern Ireland - were not easy to achieve but maintained that only her government will fulfil the expectations of the pro-leave voters of the 2016 referendum.

A detailed Brexit strategy dossier will be produced in the coming weeks, the British government said Wednesday, amid accusations that cabinet divisions are holding up negotiations with the EU.

But the source, familiar with the discussions in London, said aligning Britain with European Union import tariffs for an extended period could be part of a backstop arrangement in the event of a delay in the implementation of any Brexit deal.

Senior Whitehall sources stressed that the plan was a fallback, and not "something we ever expect to happen".

From the other side, from the Irish and the EU, they will be looking closely at this and saying the backstop did not necessarily refer to a time limit it was meant to be a temporary measure and they will be wondering whether aligning with the Customs Union, which would align tariffs for a period of time is enough.

The government hopes that it can come up with an alternative proposal that would keep a soft Irish border while allowing Britain to set its own tariffs and trade policy.

Labour used a rare parliamentary device called a "humble address" to try to force the publication of "all papers, presentations and economic analysis" on the two options which have split May's government and all but stalled Brexit talks.

Mr Rees-Mogg told the Daily Telegraph: 'The risk of the Government using all its mental energy on the fallback position is that it creates a position that is more attractive than a permanent deal.

"We have gone from a clear endpoint, to an extension, to a proposed further extension with no endpoint". The bottom of the rainbow seems to be unattainable.

She admitted that achieving these "is not easy, it is difficult" but insisted that only her government will deliver on the 2016 referendum vote to leave the EU.

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