Money Theresa May prepares to confront cabinet over Brexit customs plan

12:45  02 july  2018
12:45  02 july  2018 Source:   msn.com

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Theresa May is to present a new post-Brexit customs plan to her cabinet this week, in an increasingly desperate attempt to find a solution that can unite her feuding ministers and find favour with a sceptical EU.

Details of the new plan have not been set out, but its existence — confirmed by Number 10 — demonstrates that Mrs May has concluded that neither of the two customs options under consideration by ministers for almost a year will fly.

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Theresa May is understood to have asked for "revised proposals", our correspondent added. 4. So nearly 2 years on, govt accepts it doesn’t have viable customs plan yet - v interesting that Javid Image caption David Davis is preparing for the next round of talks with EU Brexit chief Michel Barnier.

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Cabinet Eurosceptics have rejected Mrs May’s preferred option — a complex system known as “a new customs partnership” — which would have seen Britain stay within the EU customs system and collect tariffs on behalf of Brussels.

Meanwhile the alternative “maximum facilitation” scheme — involving new technology and trusted trader schemes — is viewed by Number 10 as hugely costly and unlikely to remove the need for a hard border in Ireland.

The fact that Mrs May has been forced to work up a new customs plan is a sign that the prime minister is having to completely rework her Brexit strategy © AFP The fact that Mrs May has been forced to work up a new customs plan is a sign that the prime minister is having to completely rework her Brexit strategy

“It will be the spawn of the NCP and “max fac”,” said one Downing Street insider.

However, the fact that Mrs May has been forced to work up a new customs plan is a sign that the prime minister is having to completely rework her Brexit strategy.

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Theresa May suffers defeat in parliament over EU (Withdrawal) Bill on 13 December 2017. British Prime Minister Theresa May in the cabinet , sitting below a painting Britain releases a new customs plan to solve the Northern Ireland border but Michel Barnier says it leaves ‘unanswered’ questions

Theresa May admits that ‘questions have been raised’ over her Customs Union options laid out in Mansion House speech. Downing Street sources had earlier denied that any agreement had been reached at Tuesday’s meeting of the Brexit cabinet sub-committee

Without a viable customs scheme, Britain will be forced to remain tied to the EU customs union indefinitely under a legal “backstop” agreement with Brussels that will ensure no return to a hard border in Ireland.

Mrs May will convene her cabinet at Chequers on Friday for crucial talks intended to agree a final Brexit strategy, to be set out in a white paper the following week.

The prime minister will warn Eurosceptic ministers that they will have to soften their negotiating red lines — including on the role of the European Court of Justice — if they are to persuade Brussels to budge on its tough negotiating position.

Mrs May is also expected to challenge ministers including foreign secretary Boris Johnson to accept the need for a close alignment with the EU on goods regulation to minimise trade friction between Britain and the rest of the EU.

While that might limit Britain’s freedom to do trade deals, the prime minister favours a looser relationship with the EU on services — allowing the UK more leeway to set its own regulations and to cut trade deals for a sector representing about 80 per cent of the economy.

In a sign of growing tension, Eurosceptic Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg said the prime minister risked “splitting the Conservative party like Sir Robert Peel” if she softened her red lines — a reference to the schism in the party over the Corn Laws in the 19th century.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, he warned Mrs May: “Any EU agreement that restricts the country’s ability to make trade agreements with other states, restricts our ability to control our migration policy, makes us pay to trade or interferes with our fishing waters could not be accepted.”

The Latest: May defends Brexit plan after Cabinet departures .
Prime Minister Theresa May has defended her post-Brexit trade plan that sparked Cabinet resignations, saying it is the only way to avoid a hard border with Ireland. LONDON — Prime Minister Theresa May has defended her post-Brexit trade plan that sparked Cabinet resignations, saying it is the only way to avoid a hard border with Ireland.

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