Published: Fri, May 18, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Theresa May reiterates: United Kingdom will leave customs union in 2020

Theresa May reiterates: United Kingdom will leave customs union in 2020

But Prime Minister Theresa May's cabinet is divided, with some pro-Brexit ministers openly dismissing what is believed to be her preferred option - a customs partnership under which Britain would collect tariffs on goods entering the country on the EU's behalf.

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said the Tory leader's comments reflected the "changing constitutional landscape" after the Brexit vote.

Quick guide Why is the Irish border a stumbling block for Brexit?

The border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland remains an obstacle on the Brexit talks' agenda as the UK's exit from the European Union may create difficulties for the free movement of goods and workers between the Republic of Ireland and the UK's Northern Irish counties.

In particular these rules govern the regulation of agrifood products, animal health, food and plant safety.

Sources said it would only be invoked if new customs technology needed to prevent the creation of a "hard border" in Ireland is not ready by the end of the Brexit transition in December 2020.

According to the newspaper, the Irish question may remain unresolved until 2023.

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Brexit - UK seeking previously unthought of 'third way' around the Northern Ireland customs border impasse

Today, it was being reported that the British government is set to throw its diplomatic weight behind a third option for solving the conundrum of the Irish border post-Brexit.

The disagreements within May's cabinet at this late stage of negotiations have been described by sources as "shocking". Varadkar said the European Union and Dublin had "yet to see anything that remotely approaches" a way out of the current impasse.

May was eager to find out what sort of response she can expect when European Union leaders assess progress on the Irish border issue at their summit in June, a senior European Union official said, asking not to be named because the discussions were private.

The EU says that would be the best way to avoid a hard Irish border.

"It is vitally important for those of us who are committed to a new and reconciled Ireland (that we) advance that position with open arms and an open mind of what an inclusive Ireland would look like", he said.

Mrs May said: "The Commission published a fallback option which was not acceptable to us and we will be bringing forward our own proposal for that fallback option in due course".

But we need to see it written down in black and white and know that it is workable and legally operable. "And we've yet to see anything that remotely approaches that".

The question of the future customs relationship between Europe and the United Kingdom has been simmering in the background for some time now but markets have largely ignored the issue as they wait for some clear guidance with traders opting to avoid getting caught up in a situation where they trade headlines, as was the case in 2017.

Walmart e-commerce growth rebounds
Walmart's gross margin , which has fallen for four consecutive quarters, was down 23 basis points in the quarter ended April 30. Walmart , while spending more on its workers to improve service, is building fewer big stores, and its focus is solidly online.

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