What is the customs union, how is it different from the EU single market and is the UK leaving after


THERESA May has been forced to join forces with Jeremy Corbyn in a bid to lay out a Brexit deal  Corbyn insisted that Labour wants to achieve a customs union with the EU and have access to the single market So will the UK stay in it? What is the EU customs union?  The EU customs union is a free trade agreement for goods  It differs from the single market which also includes free movement of labour, services and capital  The European Union’s customs union is a trade agreement between all EU member states and three other countries – Turkey, Andorra and San Marino – which allows goods to be shipped all around the EU as long as they clear customs in one participating country  The countries sit down and decide to apply the same tariffs to goods from outside the union  Britain’s membership of the customs union stops us negotiating free trade agreements with other countries – a key campaign pledge of the successful Leave campaign during the EU referendum in 2016  Leaving has the potential to cause problems with the Irish border and for certain sectors of industry  Leaving would lead to mandatory customs checks for every lorry from Britain to the EU unless a free trade deal is struck with Brussels Why has Theresa May indicated the UK will quit the customs and will it still happen now No Deal has been rejected?  Theresa May has long been clear she will seek to leave the single market and the customs union – allowing Britain to escape the authority of Brussels and strike its own global trade deals  EU leaders warned the UK cannot access the single market while also capping immigration on people from its member states – one of the PM’s so-called red lines outlined in her famous Mansion House speech  European Council President Donald Tusk and the EU want the UK to respect: the whole of EU law, including new laws respect budgetary and financial commitments respect judicial oversight and all other related obligations  On March 13, 2019, MPs voted to block a No Deal Brexit  However this has not scuppered plans to still quit the customs union. When will the UK leave the EU single market and customs union?  Britain was scheduled to depart the EU on March 29, 2019, at 11pm  But 15 days before, MPs voted to delay Brexit, until at least June 30.  Whenever Brexit Day will take place, there will be a transition or implementation period which is currently slated to last until December 2020  Extending Article 50 would give Parliament more time to finalise a deal. What is Theresa May’s facilitated customs arrangement?  After a crunch summit at Chequers in the summer of 2018, the PM and her Cabinet put forward her strategy for Britain’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU  One of the central points of her plan is a facilitated customs arrangement which will allow the UK to set its own tariffs on goods arrival in the country  Borders between the UK and EU would be treated as a “combined customs territory” and would see the UK apply tariffs and trade policies for goods destined for the UK but charge EU tariffs for goods bound for the EU  The Government believes this system removes the threat of a hard border in Ireland    What will happen if Britain leaves the single market and customs union?  If Britain leaves the single market and customs union, it may not be given the same complete freedom to move money, people and products around the EU  The European Union will only allow the UK to be part of the European single market if it continues to allow EU nationals the right to live and work in the UK  And being a member of the customs union would stop the UK striking free trade deals with other nations  Theresa May and Olly Robbins, her chief Brexit adviser from the Civil Service, have floated the idea of a scheme which would see Britain continue to collect tariffs on behalf of the EU for goods which enter the UK which are destined for member states  Boris Johnson has said he would support May’s Brexit deal if she secures a major change to the backstop so the UK doesn’t get stuck in the EU customs union

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