Britain outlines customs powers if Brexit deal fails

Frederick Owens
October 10, 2017

Theresa May's government will publish two white papers on customs and trade arrangements after Brexit, amid warnings from within government to expect two more thorny rounds of negotiations with the EU.

Davies explained that he considered the UK's negotiating stance was "substantially more flexible and pragmatic" than that of the EU.

And Ingo Kramer, president of the Confederation of German employers' associations (BDA), told the same newspaper that "the cohesion of the remaining 27 European Union member states has the highest priority".

Many believe she must quit before the next election, due in 2022, but worry that a leadership contest now will provoke an earlier vote that could result in a victory for Labour's Jeremy Corbyn.

Regional politicians in Wales and Scotland have also railed against the bill, claiming the new law was a power grab by Westminster that is against their interests. "We are always here and we are ready", he said.

However, he believed "concrete progress" had been made.

But speaking to reporters in Brussels on Monday the European Union seemed unimpressed by the Prime Minister's approach and comments.

Responding to backbench MP Jacob Rees-Mogg during Brexit questions in the House of Commons, the prime minister said Britain wanted an orderly withdrawal from the European Union and "that may mean we will start off with the ECJ governing the rules that we are part of". Mr Davis and Commission chief negotiator Michel Barnier have both been absent for days during the talks before, leaving the details to officials - a though never on the first day of a round.

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"This could have serious consequences", he said.

Yet it suits pro-Brexit MPs to say that things are going badly, to paint Brussels as the enemy of progress, because they can shift the blame away from themselves and onto the forces that want the United Kingdom to stay in the EU. It suggested that she might be moved out early next year, once this phase of the Brexit talks was completed.

She will call for talks to be approached in a constructive way "with our sights set firmly on the future".

The proposals for a customs bill were published alongside those for new trade legislation that would allow Britain to enter into new global free trade agreements once it has left the EU.

As May tries to reassert her authority, the Guardian newspaper said she would be urged by her lawmakers to sack Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson who used media article and interviews ahead of this week's party conference to put forward his own view of Brexit.

But Brussels has warned this could harm prospects of Britain achieving a smooth exit, saying it would "depart from the logic and the letter" of the Prime Minister's Florence speech last month.

That would cost more time that neither side has, since the chances of London or Brussels agreeing to extend the Brexit deadline seem limited.

Anyhow we're not expecting anything new but plenty of peacock-suiting as May tries to re-assert her authority both at home and overseas.

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