Customs deal ‘fudge by PM to stop Davis walking out’


City A.M. has been told ministers were not briefed on the figures ahead of a critical Brexit war Cabinet

Britain's proposal to keep goods and services flowing between its territory of Northern Ireland and European Union member Ireland "raises more questions than it provides answers", Barnier said.

The Brexit Secretary is set to return to Brussels next week for talks with the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

Brussels had demanded that Northern Ireland remain aligned with European Union customs regulations once Britain leaves, in a bid to prevent a hard border appearing between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

"The UK is clear that the temporary customs arrangement, should it be needed, should be time limited", the document, which was also sent to Brussels, said.

Ministers are also concerned as it does not state that Britain will be able to unilaterally decide when the backstop should end, which had been one of their key demands, the Telegraph reported.

The EU has rejected all Customs Union and Irish border solutions put forward by the United Kingdom so far, including the "Max Fac" option allowing the United Kingdom to break free of EU rules and keep the Irish border open.

Theresa May's latest Brexit proposals received a frosty reception in Brussels, with chief European Union negotiator Michel Barnier raising objections to her plan for a time-limited customs backstop covering the whole UK.

Labour Party Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer acknowledged that "there are very divided views" among the opposition party's lawmakers over whether Britain should try to remain in the EU's single market.

It said that "the Commission's proposals did not achieve this, which is why we have put forward our own backstop solutions for customs", and that Barnier himself has acknowledged that discussions will continue on the British proposal.

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She rejected arguments that the 2016 result was "etched in stone" and should not be questioned, saying: "The will of the people is changing. the 48% is now over 50% and rising".

Ireland's ideal scenario would be for Britain to stay in the EU's customs union and single market, ensuring regulation is not a barrier to intra-EU trade. "Over the past year, we have continued to push the Government on what needs to be agreed to "Keep Britain Trading" after Brexit".

Reports in the British press said he had been prepared to resign over the issue.

"If we move to WTO (World Trade Organization) rules, that would definitely require customs declarations so it would be similar in terms of costs", Thompson said when asked about the cost of a no-deal Brexit.

"The point is, do we reach quick decisions or do we reach the right decisions?"

In an open letter to voters, Best For Britain warned that there was a danger of the political establishment "sleepwalking the country over the Brexit finish line" in March without any clarity over whether the deal will be good for the UK.

Answering questions after a speech in London, Mr Davis also hinted at his frustration the Government's promised Brexit white paper had not yet been published.

The Prime Minister was "going to go into a phase where we are much more combative with Brussels", the Cabinet minister said.

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