Brexit: Third customs model devised ahead of cabinet talks

  • Brexit: Third customs model devised ahead of cabinet talks

Brexit: Third customs model devised ahead of cabinet talks

One of the top sticking points is how to avoid border checks between Northern Ireland, and European Union member state Ireland.

There were hugs for May from Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte as she stepped out of her vehicle to talk over lunch in his official residence known as the Catshuis.

"I am trying to support the Prime Minister's position and to remind people that any implementation deal has to get through Parliament, and if it is a bad deal, or it doesn't meet the manifesto commitments, people won't vote for it", he said.

But Dr Lee said: "We need courageous, rational leadership to get our country successfully through Brexit", with "decisions based on reality and evidence, not dreams and dogma".

"But when an MP & his supporters have collected £750k to do just that, there is no doubt that Brexiteers are planning a coup".

Cabinet ministers have not been briefed on any alternative to the "new customs partnership", which would see the United Kingdom collect tariffs on behalf of the European Union, or the Brexiteers' favoured "max fac" model involving streamlined arrangements and the use of technology to reduce friction.

Instead, the government must choose between the type of relationship Norway has with the European Union, in which Britain would remain part of the single market and have to abide by European Union rules, or a simple free-trade deal like those negotiated by other countries.

May also reiterated that keeping Britain in the European Economic Area after Brexit was not an option being considered by the government.

In a further rebuke to Mr Johnson - who reportedly said "F*** business" when some firms began expressing worries about the progress of the Brexit negotiations - Lord Hague said the concerns of businesses such as Airbus and BMW "cannot be dismissed".

Briefing Cabinet ministers ahead of the Chequers talks, Oliver Robbins is said to have painted a bleak picture of the situation, with a source telling The Times they came out of the meeting thinking "we were even more screwed than we were before".

BBC political correspondent Chris Mason says Downing Street hopes this compromise will give it a way out of its customs bind and go some way to finding a workable solution to the Irish border issue.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said the Government will listen to business concerns about Brexit as Tory infighting continued ahead of the crunch Cabinet showdown at Chequers.

He said: "Clause 10 of the EU Withdrawal Act very clearly makes it unlawful for ministers to do anything which would lead to any form of physical customs border on the island of Ireland".

Mrs May said next week's Government's white paper would set out "detailed proposals for a sustainable and close future relationship" between the United Kingdom and European Union and mark "an important step in delivering the decision of the British people".

In Strasbourg, Mr Tusk told MEPs: "The sooner we get a precise United Kingdom proposal on the Irish border, the better the chance to finalise the Brexit negotiations this year".