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Brexiteers send customs 'ultimatum' to Theresa May

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A 30-page document passed to the BBC says a "customs partnership" would make meaningful trade deals "impossible" and render the International Trade Department "obsolete".It comes ahead of a key meeting of senior ministers on Wednesday.They will discuss the different options to replace customs union membership.
Reality Check: Why is the customs union so important?
Hammond favours 'customs partnership'
A customs union is when countries agree to apply the same taxes on imports of goods from outside the union.
This means when goods have cleared customs in one country, they can be shipped to others in the union without further tariffs being imposed.
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Brexiteers send customs 'ultimatum' to Theresa May

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If the UK remains part of the EU's customs union, it would be unable to strike trade deals with countries around the world.But supporters say it would help to keep an open border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.
The 30-page document about a "new customs partnership" was prepared by a QC
It was sent by senior backbenchers to Downing Street on Sunday
Theresa May - who has faced pressure on the issue from both sides of the EU debate - says the UK will leave the customs union as part of Brexit,One of the two options put forward by the UK is a "partnership" arrangement which would involve the UK collecting the EU's tariffs on goods coming from other countries on the EU's behalf.This has proved controversial with some Brexiteer MPs, and their dossier, seen by the BBC, says it should be "swiftly removed from the table". BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said several ministers on the key Brexit sub-committee were understood to be urging Theresa May to ditch this "hybrid" model.
A customs union allows for goods to pass between members tariff-free
There are concerns about whether it is practical, and sources have suggested it has been nicknamed the "unicorn" model in Westminster, she said."Senior figures in Number 10 accept privately that the customs partnership can't be proven to be viable in the short term, but insist that it is potentially a workable option in the longer term," she said."It's suggested that tomorrow the prime minister will be backed by the chancellor in keeping this option on the table."The document leaked to the BBC was prepared by a QC, and was sent by senior backbenchers and former ministers to Number 10 on Sunday.Some Brexiteer cabinet ministers are understood to have seen the paper, which lists "nine fundamental problems" with the partnership model.
'Breaking point'
Analysis by BBC political editor Laura KuenssbergA senior Tory said "the customs partnership is the breaking point", suggesting that if No 10 doesn't do their bidding, they could withhold their support.Of course the stakes are high on all sides, tempers are hot, and it is not certain that they would deliver on those kinds of threats.But Theresa May warned in her Mansion House Speech that the UK won't get everything it wants in the EU negotiations.The time when she has to say that forcefully in negotiations with her own party may be coming fast.The question is whether that's feasible, one former minister said that Theresa May "already isn't leading the party".Another told me it's like "the politicians have all gone missing".Read Laura's blog
Wednesday's meeting is not expected to reach a final decision on the proposals.But the document warns against continued deliberations in government, saying that "further delay is itself a decision".Downing Street sources denied the document was an ultimatum, dismissing it as part of the policy-making process.Looking ahead to Wednesday's meeting Number 10 said: "The government has put forward two proposals and they will be discussed by the government further."
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