Authorization

Commons to debate post-Brexit customs union

By Jon Craig, Chief Political Correspondent
Senior MPs are turning up the heat on Theresa May on Brexit by staging a Commons debate calling for the UK to remain in a customs union with the EU.
Pro-Remain MPs who chair Commons committees have tabled a motion calling on the Government to keep open the option of staying in the customs union in Brexit negotiations.But because the four-hour debate is deemed to be backbench Commons business, the Government will abstain if there is a vote after the debate and insist the outcome is not binding.After defeats in the House of Lords on the customs union over the past week, the important votes in the Commons on the customs union will come next month when the EU (Withdrawal) Bill returns from the Lords.The MPs proposing the motion being debated now are Yvette Cooper, Nicky Morgan, Hilary Benn, Sarah Wollaston, Angus MacNeil, Norman Lamb, Meg Hillier, Pete Wishart, Bob Neill, Dominic Grieve, Rachel Reeves and Mary Creagh.
Commons to debate post-Brexit customs union

Video:
How close are we to a final Brexit deal?
Labour ex-minister Meg Hillier, who chairs the Public Accounts Committee, told Sky News: "I chair a cross-party select committee made up of four parties who all voted different ways on Brexit. Some voted for, some voted against."But we are united in our concern about how ill prepared the Government is for Brexit and customs and the border."Frankly, if they don't get their act together it's very difficult to know how practically they can do that in the time left. There will be chaos at the borders."And former Tory attorney general Dominic Grieve, who chairs the Intelligence and Security Committee, told Sky News: "We have our views. I have my views. I regret the outcome of the referendum."But I am respectful of the decision and realise it's going to happen. It's not my role to sabotage it, but it's my role as a parliamentarian to participate in debates and try to shape public opinion in what is a difficult, complex and very risky process on which we are embarking."The motion to be debated by MPs calls on the Government "to include as an objective in negotiations on the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union the establishment of an effective customs union between the two territories".It says the EU is the UK's largest market for goods with €145bn of exports and €241bn of imports in 2016, and hails the importance of avoiding a "hard border" between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and the role of a customs union in achieving that.
Commons to debate post-Brexit customs union

Image:
Sir Keir Starmer says the PM is putting her party ahead of the country
Ahead of the debate, Labour's shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer accused the Prime Minister of putting party before country and said any economic case for ruling out a customs union has collapsed.He claims analysis commissioned by Labour reveals that Theresa May's decision to rule out a new customs union with the European Union could cost the UK economy €24bn by 2033.Sir Keir said: "Over the past few weeks it has become abundantly clear that Theresa May is unwilling and unable to put the country's interests first during the Brexit negotiations."She has wasted 12 weeks of the Brexit negotiations delaying a Commons vote on the UK negotiating a customs union with the EU for fear of a defeat."In light of the Government's own impact assessments and the lack of progress on any new trade deals, any economic case for ruling out a customs union has collapsed."The Prime Minister is now solely focused on internal party management and masking the divisions within her government."Above all, it shows we have a Prime Minister governing for narrow party interest, not the national interest. A Prime Minister for whom a 'jobs-first Brexit' means putting her own job before that of millions of working people."It's time for the Prime Minister to finally listen to what Labour, trade unions and businesses across the country are saying and to accept the need for a comprehensive UK-EU customs union after Brexit."Responding to Sir Keir, junior Brexit minister Suella Braverman said: "Labour's latest policy on the customs union would leave the UK shackled to Brussels, taking rules forever, and unable to do trade deals with third countries, one of the prime opportunities of Brexit.
More from Brexit

Government warned of potential 'constitutional crisis' over motion on final Brexit deal


Rees-Mogg: Peers risk 'burning down' House of Lords by thwarting Brexit


EU negotiator Barnier says 'more clarity' is still needed from UK on Brexit


No 10: Brexit showdown on customs union not a 'vote of confidence' in PM


Customs union showdown is important - here's why


PM 'will not backtrack' on leaving customs union

"The supposed safeguards that Corbyn talks about are impossible to achieve and will get laughed out of town. Even their own shadow trade secretary said being in a customs union would be a 'disaster'."This is just yet more evidence that Labour are more interested in frustrating the process and playing politics than they are in delivering a successful Brexit."
news.sky.com
See also:
Leave a comment
News
  • Latest
  • Read
  • Commented
Calendar Content
«    Октябрь 2018    »
ПнВтСрЧтПтСбВс
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031