Best for Britain Campaign to Strive for Referendum on Brexit Final Deal

10 June, 2018, 09:00 | Author: Diane Mills
  • GETTY•CHANNEL 4Brexit news Bernard Henri Levy said Britain will become

That was politically impossible to envisage, especially for a government that relies on the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in parliament; the DUP have made clear that they would be unwilling to accept any agreement that is not for the United Kingdom as a whole.

The Government did not expect it to be implemented, as it meant to have a permanent customs arrangement in place by the end of 2020, she said.

"There is still an urgent need for clarity on non-customs checks, which account for three quarters of border stoppages".

"On the basis of the red lines we have, there is no solution", an unnamed senior European Union official told the Financial Times in April.

Jon Thompson, permanent secretary at Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, told lawmakers that leaving the European Union with no deal would cost business a similar amount to a customs arrangement known as "max fac" - or maximum facilitation - because companies would have to fill in customs declarations.

The issue continues to be a thorn in the side of Prime Minister Theresa May, as debate rumbles on about how best to avoid a hard border between the two Irelands.

Mr Barnier also rejected the idea of a time limit on the backstop which Downing Street has requested, an issue that almost led to the resignation of Brexit Secretary David Davis.

The DUP, meanwhile, will not accept the EU's preferred option of creating a customs border in the Irish Sea, as it threatens the "constitutional integrity" of the union.

May refused to give a "cast-iron guarantee" that the cut-off date for the backstop plan would not extend beyond December 2021, but said that the government expects to have a better customs arrangement in place by then "at the very latest".

More news: Aussies Smith and Oh struggle at US Open

They are wary of the secrecy and implications of the prime minister's plan for the "Irish backstop" - the agreement suggested in December to come up with a way to protect current border arrangements with Ireland.

The government later published its proposal for a backstop plan to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, with an ambition for it to end by the time of the next general election.

Under the customs union, EU member states trade freely with each other and charge the same duties on imports from outside the bloc.

One of the options now being considered is to keep Northern Ireland - not mainland Britain - aligned with those rules, according to the person.

Responding, Mrs May told the BBC: "This is a negotiation, Michel Barnier has said exactly that point".

A senior European Union official has said the bloc was keen to go on working with Britain on Galileo after Brexit but under new rules, including those preventing third countries obtaining access to critical security information.

The meeting with Mr Davis, running to more than 30 minutes, was the longest.

The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier welcomed the publication of the paper.

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