Published: Mon, November 05, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

May has EU concessions to keep United Kingdom in customs union

May has EU concessions to keep United Kingdom in customs union

Basically, it is an insurance policy to make sure the current frictionless border between Northern Ireland and the Republic remains open no matter what happens in negotiations between the United Kingdom and the EU.

According to the Telegraph, May has included Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, the government's chief legal adviser, in her special Brexit Cabinet after ministers said they wouldn't sign off on a deal without his advice.

But that has not stopped a flurry of concern from backbench Tory Brexiteers who are concerned the cabinet may be about to be "bounced" into agreeing to terms that they say could bind the United Kingdom into an indefinite customs "limbo" with the EU.

In a major intervention on the controversial backstop, amid reports that the government plans to keep Northern Ireland in aspects of the European Union trade structures, Mr Davis said it was "pretty clear there is genuine and significant concern regarding the implications of any fresh backstop text".

Glen, the financial services minister, said he is "extremely confident we will reach an imminent deal", Reuters reported.

This would keep the whole of the United Kingdom in the customs union to avoid a hard border in Ireland.

Baker said: "If we are going to regulate our own economy, if we are going to have our own independent trade policy, if we are going to be a normal independent country - which is what I understood the referendum result to have decided - then we need to be out of the customs union and we need to get out of the customs union in a timely way".

But Britain's Conservative government and its Northern Irish ally, the Democratic Unionist Party, won't accept that because it would mean customs and regulatory checks between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

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It has been reported that Theresa May is close to striking a backstop deal with Brussels which would keep the entire United Kingdom in a customs union.

Mrs May is said to continue to be pushing for a Canada-style free trade deal with the EU. The prime minister has been clear that we are making good progress on the future relationship and 95% of the withdrawal agreement is now settled.

"He recalled the prior commitments made that the backstop must apply "unless and until" alternative arrangements are agreed". "Are we being hurtled toward a Hotel California Brexit where we can check out but never leave?"

"This has been committed to by the United Kingdom in order to have a Withdrawal Agreement".

He added: "We hope a deal can be done but we're not there yet".

"We hope a deal can be done but we're not there yet".

The UK would effectively become a non-voting member of the European Union, forced to accept laws made in Brussels with no power to shape or amend them, he said.

Without such a development, sources suggested the only viable option would be to leave the deal until the leaders' summit in Brussels on 13 December.

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