Theresa May's plans for post-Brexit 'customs partnership' is 'killed' by ministers

Theresa May's plans for post-Brexit 'customs partnership' is 'killed' by ministers

Theresa May's plans for post-Brexit 'customs partnership' is 'killed' by ministers

The coup de grace was delivered by Sajid Javid at a meeting of Brexit war cabinet on Wednesday.

The Home Secretary and Defence Secretary are understood to have joined senior Brexiteers like Boris Johnson, David Davis and Liam Fox in voicing a preference for the so-called "maximum facilitation" arrangement - known as "Max Fac" - which would use new technology to avoid the need for border checks in Ireland.

But he denied issuing the Prime Minister with an ultimatum, telling BBC Radio 4: "We're not in the business of making threats, we're very much supporting the prime minister and getting Brexit through".

Customs arrangements are key to solving the problem of maintaining an invisible border between the United Kingdom 's Northern Ireland and European Union member Ireland.

Theresa May's inner Brexit Cabinet broke up without agreement on the kind of customs arrangement it wants with the European Union after the split, with ministers telling officials to go and do more work on both the options under consideration.

A contentious issue in the Brexit debate, the customs union sets tariffs for all EU member states meaning goods can be moved from one country to another within the bloc without further taxes being imposed.

Following debate on 18 April, the House of Lords voted to back an amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill to prevent the European Communities Act from being repealed until May's government has explained to parliament the steps it has taken to negotiate the UK's participation in the EU's customs union.

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According to the New York Times , Pompeo was somewhat more blunt with the Saudis in private about the dispute with Qatar. Pompeo succeeded Rex Tillerson, a former chairman of Exxon Mobil who was leading USA efforts to end Qatar's isolation.

After losing her party's majority at an ill-judged election previous year, May has put off committing to a single plan, offering Brussels two options - the customs partnership or a technology-based streamlined customs arrangement, both of which European Union negotiators have dismissed.

A spokesman for Mrs May said: "The PM said in the House that there are a number of ways of taking this forward and that's what we're working on".

He also indicated that this backstop has no implications for the movement of people between Ireland and the United Kingdom, and said that "regulatory alignment with the single market would be strictly limited to what is needed to avoid a hard border, notably for goods".

"Work has been ongoing on two options".

The meeting was held to discuss which of two possible customs arrangements - one backed by May and one favoured by Brexit supporters - the government should push for.

"If they don't have confidence in Brexit we don't have confidence in them", an ERG source told The Telegraph. Instead, he told the prime minister that though he had only been in his job three days, he felt strongly her preferred option was unworkable.

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