The UK will be given until the end of 2020 to change its mind on leaving the single market and customs union, the EU’s chief negotiator has said. Michel Barnier said the UK government has the full length of the Brexit transition period to reverse its decision to leave the two trading blocs. The EU would be willing to amend its “red lines” if Britain does the same, he said, adding that there would be “no dogmatism” from Brussels. Read more Merkel ally suggests longer Brexit transition period The confirmation leaves open the option of the UK remaining part of EU institutions if striking new trade deals with other countries proves more difficult than predicted. It will come as a boost to pro-EU campaigners who are urging the government to soften its Brexit stance. The Brexit transition period is due to end on 31 December 2020 – 21 months after Britain formally leaves the EU on 29 March 2019. The UK will remain part of the … [Read more...] about Brexit: UK given until end of 2020 to change its mind on leaving single market and customs union, says EU
Theresa May’s officials could be lining up to keep the U.K. in the European customs union after Brexit, according to a new analysis that chimes with the views of parts of the British government.Some of May’s officials think that quitting the customs union in order to win the power to strike free trade agreements with countries such as the U.S. or Australia is not as desirable as passionate Brexit supporters believe.Such trade deals with third countries can take a long time to negotiate and end up mired in litigation, while measures short of formal FTAs can still deliver significant benefits, one person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the discussions are private.Added to this, the growing view in May’s office is that, after a narrow referendum result and a close general election, she has no mandate for an extreme Brexit, according to an official.“A U.K.-wide EU customs union is therefore now our base case once the transitional period ends, … [Read more...] about May’s Brexit Red Line on Customs Union Could Be Next to Go
BREXIT keeps on throwing up surprises. One came this week when the issue of a customs union with the European Union suddenly moved into the political spotlight. Another was the sight of business lobbies praising Jeremy Corbyn, Labour’s far-left leader, because he supported the idea of forming such a union, in hopes of uniting with rebel Tory MPs to defeat the government. Yet this technical-sounding matter was barely mentioned in the Brexit referendum—and few voters or even MPs really understand it. The concept is old enough. The Zollverein, which abolished tariffs between German states in the 1830s, is a famous example. The EU’s customs union dates from its inception in 1957, though it was not completed until 1968. Like a free-trade area, a customs union scraps internal tariffs and quotas, but it adds a common external tariff. By definition, leaving the EU means leaving its customs union. But it does not preclude forming a new customs union with the EU, as Andorra, … [Read more...] about What is the EU’s customs union and why is it central to Brexit?
EDINBURGH (Reuters) - Nine members of Britain’s Conservative party are backing amendments to the legislation needed for Britain to leave the European Union, including a parliamentary vote on staying in a customs union, newspaper The Guardian reported on Friday. A cake waits to be cut at a Leave.eu party after polling stations closed in the Referendum on the European Union in London, Britain, June 23, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville The group of dissenters in Prime Minister Theresa May’s party includes two former cabinet ministers who are backing “substantial” cross-party amendments to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, the report said. The changes drawn up include one giving parliament a vote on staying in a customs union “which is almost certain to pass”, the Guardian said. The withdrawal bill is testing May’s ability to rule as her Conservatives are split on how best to enact Brexit, and she is dependent on a small party in … [Read more...] about Nine Conservatives demand vote on Britain leaving EU customs union…
We all know Brexit means Brexit - but it also means restoring Britain’s ability to pursue an independent trade policy. This requires the UK to leave the customs union, which currrently prevents it from negotiating trade deals. Eurosceptics say the benefits of this would be immense, leaving the UK free to sign lucrative, tailor-made deals with booming economies such as America and China. But how the UK goes about leaving the customs union is becoming a tangled and murky affair. There is talk in Whitehall of the UK leaving “the” customs union, only to join “a” customs union that would eliminate tariffs in the sectors covered. There is also Theresa May’s proposal to forge a new “customs partnership”... Register or log in to view this and other Politics articles. It's free and easy to do. Join regular debates with our journalists by commenting on articles Sign up to exclusive newsletters that give you the inside track on … [Read more...] about A simple guide to the customs union and its impact on Brexit