Tory MPs Kicking Off Over Plot to Keep Us in Customs Union mdi-fullscreen

Last night’s FT scoop that “Theresa May’s Brexit advisers” are “secretly considering” keeping us in a customs union with the EU has got members of the European Research Group of Tory MPs kicking off. The story was sent around senior Brexiters last night, who reacted with considerable concern. Such a deal would obviously prevent us from striking trade deals with non-EU countries, one of the key opportunities of Brexit. It has been clear for some time now that the Treasury is lobbying to keep us in a customs union that prevents the UK’s ability to strike out on its own, as Charles Grant has said. As Liam Fox told Bloomberg overnight: “It is very difficult to see how being in a customs union is compatible with having an independent trade policy, because we would therefore be dependent on what the EU negotiated in terms of its trading policies and we’d be following behind that.” So why is May allowing her aides to “secretly” keep us inside? This is yet another example of Number 10 being bounced towards a softer Brexit. Worryingly May has not exactly killed this story in China, she needs to or Tory MPs will be bashing down her door when she arrives home…

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