LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Theresa May has instructed officers to do extra work on future EU customs preparations after her international minister attacked one in all her Brexit proposals as “crazy”.
Boris Johnson’s broadside in opposition to what some say is May’s most well-liked possibility for guaranteeing Britain’s new border with the European Union is as frictionless as potential underlines the deep divisions over what post-Brexit ties ought to appear like.
May’s resolution to depart the EU’s customs union, which units tariffs for items imported into the bloc, has develop into one of many foremost flashpoints within the Brexit debate, pitting corporations and pro-EU campaigners in opposition to a gaggle of eurosceptic members of parliament.
Johnson and different Brexit supporters have come out in opposition to a proposal for a customs partnership that may successfully see Britain acquire tariffs for the EU, placing strain on the prime minister to dump the plan.
May’s spokesman stated on Tuesday work was persevering with on the 2 proposals presently on the desk – the customs partnership and extremely streamlined customs association that may depend on expertise. The EU has dismissed each proposals.
“The prime minister asked officials to take forward that work as a priority,” her spokesman instructed reporters after her so-called Brexit struggle cupboard did not come to an settlement on which plan to pursue at a gathering final week.
“Following last week’s cabinet sub-committee meeting, it was agreed that there are unresolved issues in relation to both models and further work is needed.”
Brexit campaigners have criticised the customs partnership and believed it had been shelved till business minister Greg Clark once more made the case for the proposal on Sunday. Johnson’s phrases have been seen as a response to that.
“It’s totally untried and would make it very, very difficult to do free trade deals,” Johnson stated in an interview printed in Tuesday’s Daily Mail.
“If you have the new customs partnership, you have a crazy system whereby you end up collecting the tariffs on behalf of the EU at the UK frontier.”
May’s spokesman stated the prime minister had full confidence in her international secretary.
The prime minister has to tread a wonderful line, conscious of fears that any new customs infrastructure on the border between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland might reignite sectarian violence that has not been seen for many years.
Reporting by Michael Holden, Elizabeth Piper and William James, Editing by Kate Holton and Andrew Heavens