Britain 'will not stay in customs union' - United Kingdom government

Britain 'will not stay in customs union' - United Kingdom government

Mr Wilson said it would be "very unwise for the prime minister to show any sign of weakness" to European Union negotiators.

The Prime Minister will reportedly turn a bid by Tory rebels to keep the United Kingdom in a customs union with the European Union into an effective vote of confidence in the Government.

"We need to take back control of trade - that means leaving the protectionist Customs Union", Environment Secretary Michael Gove tweeted on Sunday.

LONDON - Downing Street has reportedly warned rebel Conservative MPs that an upcoming vote on whether Britain should stay in a customs union with the EU after Brexit will be a vote of confidence in Theresa May's leadership.

The Trade and Customs Bill will be debated in the Commons on Thursday. Ten Conservative MPs have already signed it.

BBC assistant political editor Norman Smith said Downing Street's move was an attempt to reassure Brexiteers anxious about a U-turn following the Lords defeat and pressure from the EU.

May has repeatedly promised to end all existing UK-EU customs arrangements as part of Britain's departure from the EU.

As a result, aides to the prime minister have briefed that she is preparing to surrender on the issue.

Lawmakers will have to decide whether to back the government or reject the agreement - with the risk that Britain could crash out of the European Union next year without any deal in place.




What is the argument for staying in the customs union?

Regardless of how those surveyed voted in the referendum, they were more likely to be unhappy than happy with the way negotiations are going.

A government defeat in Britain's upper house of parliament last week has again raised questions over May's commitment to leaving the customs union, a plan that has split not only her own party but also across the parliamentary divide.

They also argue that negotiating new trade deals with the European Union would be a long and tortuous process, with all member states having to sign off on the agreements before they can take effect.

A No.10 source said: 'Government policy hasn't changed, we are leaving the customs union'.

The government has repeatedly said it would have technological fixes for Ireland, allowing a frictionless border despite different standards and rules on goods. They were set out in the Mansion House speech.

The Irish border is a key element of their case.

The government says the rights the charter protects are already covered by British law and May's spokesman said earlier on Monday the withdrawal bill, which was approved by the House of Commons before being sent to the upper house, was the best way of providing "the smoothest possible Brexit".

Liam Halligan says that Brussels are trying to "weaponise" the Irish border with "fear and bluster".

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