The idea of a post-Brexit “customs partnership” with the EU would be “madness”. The British Foreign Minister, Boris Johnson, leader of the Eurosceptics of the government, rejects in these terms the option of retirement put forward by Prime Minister Theresa May a few weeks ago to meet the more moderate wing of the executive Tory.
“If we had a new customs partnership, we would have a system madness in which we would be forced to collect duties on behalf of the EU at the borders of the United Kingdom,” cut Johnson short to the Daily Mail, insisting on the need to disengage from Brussels in this scope to have hands free for potential free trade agreements with third countries.
May has repeatedly pledged to say goodbye to the customs union as well as the EU, but has not yet taken away from the table the ‘partnership’ hypothesis, even though it has not yet obtained the ok from the cabinet council and despite the pressures of the ‘brexiteers’.
In the meantime, earlier, Theresa May could bypass her Brexit “war Cabinet” by asking the full Cabinet to back her controversial plan for a customs partnership with Brussels, Eurosceptic ministers fear.
Mrs May has postponed plans to discuss Britain’s future customs arrangements with her 11-strong Brexit sub-committee on Thursday, having been outnumbered 6-5 last week by those who opposed the partnership idea.
As she considers her next move, Brexiteers have warned her she could face a revolt – and even a leadership contest – if she tries to steamroller opponents of the plan.