Jeremy Hunt has said there is no possibility of the government backing a customs union with the EU after Brexit. The health secretary said the UK wanted “frictionless trade” but would “find a different way” to achieve that. A Conservative MP says she has cross-party support for an amendment calling for the government to form “a” customs union with the EU after Brexit.
Theresa May will make a speech on the UK’s future relationship with the EU next Friday. And Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn is set to outline Labour policy on a customs union on Monday, amid reports that his party’s position on it is “evolving”. If he backs membership of a customs union, it could mean Mrs May faces a Commons showdown over the issue – with pro-European Conservative rebels joining forces with Labour MPs.
Former prime minister Tony Blair said he would welcome a shift in policy from Labour towards a customs union – and if there was an “impasse” in Parliament on the issue, it made the case stronger for a referendum on the final Brexit deal. But Labour Brexiteer Kate Hoey told the BBC: “A referendum would be ridiculous, less than two years after we had one”.
Conservative MP Anna Soubry says she has cross-party support for an amendment to the Trade Bill, currently going through Parliament, urging the government to pursue as a negotiating objective forming a customs union after Brexit.
Original Article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-43167824