May Told to Ditch Customs Partnership “Turkey”

Tory MPs and Cabinet ministers are telling Theresa May to ditch her ‘customs partnership’ fudge, with government sources claiming even Jeremy Heywood thinks it is a “turkey“. David Davis has been lobbying against Number 10’s so-called hybrid model, in which the UK would collect import tariffs on behalf of Brussels, continue to follow the Common Commercial Policy, stay in the single market for goods and effectively throw away our ability to strike new trade deals. There is a split among May’s top civil servants – this model is the brainchild of Olly Robbins yet Heywood reportedly thinks it is over-complicated and unworkable. It certainly isn’t a ‘clean Brexit’. “May and Robbins are the only ones still backing it,” says one well-placed source. The fudge has also convinced the EU that we are not set on leaving the customs union, encouraging Brussels to play hardball and offer a binary choice between a customs union and no deal. May will be told to drop the customs partnership at Wednesday’s meeting of the Brexit sub-committee.

Insiders say there are attempts by May’s Downing Street Europe unit, which consists of her special adviser on Europe Denzil Davidson and her Europe and Trade adviser Ed de Minckwitz, to “roll the pitch” ahead of caving on the customs union. Once again this comes down to May putting Remainers in charge of her Brexit policy. She needs to get a grip on this quick, it is in danger of kicking off…


Euro News



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Ed Davey on who he would like to see lead a government of national unity

“Yvette Cooper for obvious reasons, she’s been very high-profile in cross-party work, and I’ve also mentioned Hilary Benn as chair of the Brexit Select Committee. But it would not be for me here to make that suggestion, it would be for others working cross-party. I think it probably has to be a Labour MP because most of the MPs supporting a Queen’s Speech would be Labour. Ultimately it’s a challenge to my Labour colleagues, many of who realise a no-deal Brexit would be deeply damaging to their constituents.”

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