Plot to keep UK in customs union and water down immigration and border controls

  • The Sunday Times is reporting today that the government's chief Brexit negotiator is plotting to keep the UK in the customs union. Theresa's May right hand man on Brexit (not David Davis!) but a adviser called Oliver Robbins plans for the UK to be in a "association agreement" agreement with Brussels. But the confused article goes on to say that is a separate plan to the most recent one put forward by Robbins which is that the UK would collect EU tariffs on behalf of Brussels. Supposedly David Davis is up in arms about this and May's advisers have already "wargamed" what would happen if Davis resigned from the government.


    Seems the article is part fact and part tittle tattle to me, so it's difficult to tell what is what, but there is another article that rings truer...


    In a related article also in the Sunday Times, the newspaper is reporting that leaked cabinet papers have said that Amber Rudd submitted a plan to the cabinet last month to "water down" immigration and border controls post Brexit. The plan is to create "a labour mobility partnership" with the EU which in effect would give EU migrants preferential access to benefits, healthcare and the UK jobs market — undermining claims that free movement would end when Britain leaves the EU.

    What the fcuk are they playing at?


    Did the government miss the bit in the referendum which came out that a majority voted to leave the EU?

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  • Why is a UK civil (!) servant trying so hard to hurt the UK for the benefit of the EU? We are the 5th biggest economy in the world. Why would he want us downgraded into a tax collector for the EU! Do they need the money to pay him a bung, or something? ... or is he on commission?


    The proposals being put forward by Robbins and the remainers would actually be harmful to the UK. We want to trade with the world on terms that suit OUR economy, not Wallonia, or Germany, or France ......

  • Because it all goes back to the same thing Fidget, we are stupid peasants who don't know what we are doing and our lord and masters know better than us. Or it could be as you suggest, and they simply get backhanders for trying to keep the status quo.


    It's perhaps for another thread, but the referendum does illustrate what happens when democracy does work and the peasants actually get a real say in things. They hate that and will try and reverse it if they can, perhaps the future is more direct votes via referendums and cut out the "middle men" altogether.

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  • The electorate have never been happy with the EU. They managed to avoid giving us a choice for long enough, as all the major political parties were pro-EU. UKIP quickly gained popularity, and I hope the same happens in other EU countries. Positive sign of this happening are there already, and it will be interesting to see how the EU deals with it. I am pretty sure they will use the stick, rather than the carrot.

  • Philip Hammond favours EU 'customs partnership'

    Wednesday sees the next stage in the difficult process of the government agreeing its approach to trade with the European Union.

    Theresa May will host a meeting of her Brexit cabinet - the inner sanctum that attempts to thrash out the knottiest issues left on the table.

    One is the future customs relationship between the UK and EU.

    Senior Brexiteers have delivered an "ultimatum" demanding Theresa May drops one of the government's preferred post-Brexit customs options.

    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.

    I was planning to do more stuff in my garden on Wednesday, but after reading these articles, I might keep a close eye on the news.


    Newsnight was reporting tonight that May is formulating a plan to keep both sides happy, but how much longer can she realistically keep two opposed sides united?


    One side of the cabinet wants the UK to mirror EU law as a way to keep frictionless trade continuing, but Brexiteers believe this is simply a backdoor way to keep us in the EU. The other side wants completely out of the customs union, but the remainers believe this is a way to bring about a hard Brexit.


    Will May make a decision Wednesday, or will the bucket be kicked further down the lane again?

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  • PMQs in a second and I'm sure this matter will get mentioned. I'll be watching the body language of the cabinet carefully, especially Boris and DD. I'll wonder whether Reece-Mogg might pipe in with something too.

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  • Most of PMQs was related to Windrush/immigration numbers, but there were a few shots of Boris and he looked extremely subdued, so lets see what happens at this cabinet meeting this afternoon.

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  • Theresa May has asked officials to draw up "revised proposals" for post-Brexit customs arrangements after a key meeting with her most senior ministers.

    The Brexit sub committee met to try to agree on a new model to replace the UK's membership of the customs union.

    One of the government's preferred options - a "customs partnership" - has faced heavy criticism from Brexiteers.

    A succession of senior ministers challenged her over this plan in Wednesday's meeting.

    No real leaks on this, so we're still mainly in the dark, but it looks like the can has been kicked down the road again. We have until October to get our deal with the EU sorted out. And of course this is directly linked to the Irish border issue as we can't sort that out until we know what the customs arrangements will be.

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  • Please excuse my naivety, but most of our trade is done with countries with which we do not have a customs union. How on earth do we manage it?


    I still think that the Swiss style border is manageable, and sounds similar to what May has proposed. Why is it ok for Switzerland, whose entire border is with EU countries, but not ok for the relatively short Ireland/NI border?

  • Switzerland is in the EU in almost everything but name. I don't think that they have the euro, but otherwise most EU law applies and the Swiss pay into the EU budget.


    Three or four years ago the Swiss wanted to limit their immigration but the EU threatened them with court action if they did not allow open borders with the EU, even though there is no formal treaty on freedom of movement in Switzerland. But as Switzerland accepts most EU law, it therefore in affect also means that they accept the EU pillars on things such as free movement of labour as well as goods.


    We can do better than the Swiss.


    Edit: Just checked, and one of the treaties that the Swiss signed with the EU was on free movement. We do not want that.

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  • He may have been a remainer but I'm warming to the guy after his immigration anouncements and now this.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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  • If Switzerland have to accept EU laws, that makes the price of free trade too high. My preference would be for a free trade agreement that does not put us in the single market or the Customs Union. As had been suggested by others, a 'Canada plus' trade deal.

  • The problem is Fidget our relationship with the EU goes far deeper than on just matters of trade, the EU is almost at the point of a being federated country now. Many things are done at EU level now, like on environmental matters (the blue flags at our beaches) on chemical and medicine control, justice and terrorism etc, that to unbuckle ourselves from the EU is a monumental task.


    What I'm trying to say is that there is no existing agreement which is suitable for us, it would need to be Canada+++++++++++etc

    He may have been a remainer but I'm warming to the guy after his immigration anouncements and now this.

    Ain't that a turn up for the books? I bet May is regretting her decision to sack accept Rudd's resignation now.

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  • The problem is Fidget our relationship with the EU goes far deeper than on just matters of trade, the EU is almost at the point of a being federated country now. Many things are done at EU level now, like on environmental matters (the blue flags at our beaches) on chemical and medicine control, justice and terrorism etc, that to unbuckle ourselves from the EU is a monumental task.


    What I'm trying to say is that there is no existing agreement which is suitable for us, it would need to be Canada+++++++++++etc

    Ain't that a turn up for the books? I bet May is regretting her decision to sack accept Rudd's resignation now.

    Agreed, however, it was undemocratic politicians that put our country into this situation without the consent of the electorate. They should be kicked out, and never allowed to have influence within a democracy ever again.


    It is very difficult to extract ourselves from the EU, but delaying it will only make it more difficult, if not impossible. As Monnet said ....“Europe’s nations should be guided towards the superstate without their people understanding what is happening. This can be accomplished by successive steps, each disguised as having an economic purpose, but which will eventually and irreversibly lead to federation.

  • Just watching PMQs. Corbyn is hammering May over the customs union and the split in her cabinet.

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  • Talking of splits of a different kind....:


    Theresa May has divided her top team of ministers into two working groups to hammer out their differences on Brexit.

    The cabinet is split over how to manage customs arrangements with the EU.

    Brexiteers such as Boris Johnson are against Mrs May's preferred option of a "customs partnership", which is backed by Remain-voting ministers.

    What is May doing?


    Each side of the cabinet is not going to change its opinion. Splitting them into two camps both containing remainers and leavers to take a analytical review of the customs union proposals, will go nowhere. They will not change their views. Leavers will still want out of the customs union and remainers will still want in.


    She is playing for time. She has to make a decision soon or hand over to someone who can.

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  • May is an appeaser trying to keep both sides happy, which will result in nobody being happy with the results. All it achieves is false hope. I hope she sticks to her promises.

  • So do I. Someone has to "lose" here and she's trying to ensure it's not her. Now, I understand why Boris backed out of the leadership contest. A shrewd move by him.


    I am getting fed up with the BBC and their constant headline depiction of the remainer's customs arrangements option. If you just read the headlines, this option is only about collecting tariffs on behalf of the EU. Nonsense. It's about mirroring EU law on customs too, something this country did not vote for.

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  • I am getting fed up with the BBC and their constant headline depiction of the remainer's customs arrangements option.

    It's the inherant bias, in this case anti-BREXIT, at the BBC that produces these headlines. It's rather subtle though as it's often in the running order or putting a strange slant on the subject.


    A recent example was the BBC news headline that 30% of companies had not made provision for a revised customs proceedure with EU countries, that could have been a headline: 70% of companies HAVE made provision. Maybe a good percentage of those that hadn't were already trading with non-EU countries or didn't do any international trade.


    Making things sound negative without ACTUALLY breaking "impartiality" rules.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

    4312-gwban-gif

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  • The way that remainers go on about we MUST have a customs arrangement, I wonder how the non-EU imports and exports actually reach their destination. They make it sound impossible!


    The EU importers and exporters have had a very easy life, thanks to UK taxpayers, and don't want to lose their privileges. They care nothing for the bulk of our exporters (78%) that do NOT export to the EU, or those companies that do not export at all, but are still subjected to the costs of implementing EU rules and OTT legislation.

  • Re the transportation of non-EU goods, perhaps they get teleported! 8o Although as I was at Folkestone last weekend, I saw another method.


    The only reason the UK said right at the start of this process that we had to leave the customs union was because the French and Germans insisted on it. In particular they kept quoting the four freedoms of the of the EU to us and said they were indivisible. If you don't accept free movement, they said, you cannot have free trade like the customs union, so our reply was fine. That was a mistake by our weak government and it should've been negotiated, although perhaps May was correct on that one and never wasted time and energy arguing the point with them.


    It's the inherant bias, in this case anti-BREXIT, at the BBC that produces these headlines. It's rather subtle though as it's often in the running order or putting a strange slant on the subject.

    I think that everyone else here was against the idea of the UK collecting tariffs on behalf of the EU, that's part of the remainer's customs option, but that's a red herring. It's the BBC highlighting that info above the fact that we would have to abide by EU law one way or the other, which is the problem. A "subtle" difference indeed!


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  • I don't know how true this is, but on the BBC's This Week programmes last night, Andrew Neil said the government is going to go ahead with a customs arrangement with the EU that keeps us in the single market in all but name. If true, expect things to explode from the Conservative leaver side soon.

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  • Looks like there is "some" truth to it....::cursing:


    Plans for the UK to keep ties to the customs union temporarily after Brexit features on several newspaper front pages, alongside more build-up to Saturday's royal wedding.


    The Financial Times says the prime minister has conceded that Britain will have to remain tied to a customs union after 2021 until an alternative can be found to having a hard border in Ireland.

    Under the plan, the paper says, the whole of the UK will be covered by the EU's common external tariff, removing the need for a customs border in Ireland or between Ireland and the UK mainland.


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  • If true, that's our hopes of FTA's with other countries down the drain, and our country will continue to be bled dry by the EU. Also, the end of our sham democracy. We will know that democracy no longer exists in the UK, as in the other EU countries. It is all a pretence.


    Monnet wasn't far off the mark was he .... “Europe’s nations should be guided towards the superstate without their people understanding what is happening. This can be accomplished by successive steps, each disguised as having an economic purpose, but which will eventually and irreversibly lead to federation.”


    Is it possible to leave the EU? It had better be. Apart from remainers, who wants to live in an undemocratic country where the wishes of the majority are so blatantly ignored?

  • Mind you all this brouhaha is conditional on all 27 EU members voting for the deal and that's certainly not guaranteed. Planning has to be made for a hard exit in March 2019 and that means a hard border with NI.


    If May proposes this fudge I consider that those who voted to leave will have been betrayed. We could be entering the next election, still not really having left the EU and if Corbyn's lot got in we'd be catapulted straight back into the EU for keeps.

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

    4312-gwban-gif

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  • .....

    If May proposes this fudge I consider that those who voted to leave will have been betrayed. We could be entering the next election, still not really having left the EU and if Corbyn's lot got in we'd be catapulted straight back into the EU for keeps.

    Which is exactly what happened from 1973 onwards, until UKIP came along. We will be given a choice of pro-EU parties, and nothing else. We need UKIP to get themselves sorted pronto, and become a viable alternative.

  • The Tories will be annihilated at the next election if they try to renege on Brexit , if you leave something , you leave and do no still remain attached , be it marriage or job .All this BS about this and that not being on the ballot paper must be shown as what it is , reasons to remain.

  • Why not just withdraw our application to leave the EU?


    Or......


    Just leave without a deal and say to the EU "by now you know what we want, which is to trade with the EU without being ruled by the EU and to be able to control our borders. You have rejected every proposal to serve that aim and have offered no better suggestions. Instead your position is that EU rules are a tablet of stone. On that basis we have been wasting our time. We shall leave the EU on the agreed date. If between now and then you have any positive suggestions for trading with us, where we buy EU goods and you buy British goods, without trying to make difficulties or disadvantage our country, you know how to get in touch - but we shan't be holding our breath".

    Now called casablanca.

    Edited once, last by Rob Alka ().

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