ibusinesslines.com November 21, 2018

United Kingdom business group warns patience running out on Brexit

05 July 2018, 07:06 | Erica Roy

GETTYMrs May declared she would be content to “win by one vote”

GETTYMrs May declared she would be content to “win by one vote”

Theresa May refused this evening to rule out binding Britain to the European Union's single market or setting common customs tariffs with Brussels as she sidestepped attempts by MPs to pin down her Brexit strategy, The Times writes.Attempting to hold her increasingly fractious MPs together, the prime minister pledged to deliver a deal that was good for business while not violating her red lines.

Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan accused him of "insolence", claiming his comments risked "debasing" the Government, Tory Party and the country as a whole.

He insisted he was "confident" May would deliver the Brexit she had promised, but warned the PM that backsliding could result in splitting the party like Sir Robert Peel, who plunged it into the political wilderness for almost three decades following bitter divisions over trade reforms.

In a podcast for the ConservativeHome website, he said there had been a "breakdown in collective responsibility" in the Cabinet, with pro-EU ministers openly promoting solutions "against the Prime Minister's speeches, against the position formally of the Cabinet and against the manifesto".

"I call on other rational members of the party to stand against this nonsense".

A new customs plan to solve the Ireland/Northern Ireland border issue was discussed but the prime minister "didn't go into any details", he added.

Ahead of a meeting of United Kingdom ministers later this week a report said officials had drafted a new option for how to handle customs with the European Union. "We need to make progress", he told parliament.

The EU has rejected previous British proposals for trade with the bloc after Brexit, saying Britain can not both quit the EU and retain the main economic benefits of membership.

A Cabinet source said: "In the speculation "will there be fudge, won't there be fudge" - I suspect there will be".

The Guardian confirms that the government's long-awaited White Paper on a future trading relationship with the European Union "is expected to propose the United Kingdom remaining indefinitely in a single market for goods after Brexit, to avoid the need for checks at the Irish border".

Peston also said May's proposal would include IT and camera technology to help reduce bureaucracy around the border, as well as British alignment with European Union standards for goods and agricultural products.

"We are now looking forward to the White Paper from the United Kingdom, and we very much hope that it will bring the necessary clarity, realism, and impetus to these negotiations", Tusk told MEPs.

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