EU Highly Likely to Snub UK Leader May’s Post-Brexit Customs Plan, Report Says

EU Highly Likely to Snub UK Leader May’s Post-Brexit Customs Plan, Report Says

The new plan of British Prime Minister Theresa May for the economic relations between the UK and the EU after Brexit will most certainly be turned down by the European Union, according to a report citing senior EU officials.

May is expected to propose to her Cabinet on Friday a post-Brexit customs plan under which the UK would remain in the EU’s single market on goods, but not on services, The Independent reports.

However, such an arrangement would certainly to be rejected by the European Union, according to cited unnamed senior EU officials.

The EU’s preparedness to turn down a potential British motion for full regulatory alignment on goods while excluding services would be a major “blow” to May, The Independent comments.

The British Prime Minister recently met with key EU leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in preparation for the upcoming discussions of her white paper on the post-Brexit UK – EU relations which is to be released next week.

EU officials said the white paper in question would be “dead on arrival” in Brussels if it proposed that the UK remain in the EU’s single market for goods, but not services – which it is expected to propose.

What is more, they made it clear that the EU had repeatedly warned UK negotiators that this option would not work. It was reportedly discussed among the EU member states, and turned down, including by Germany and France.

“We have been telling the UK for two years that we would not accept a single market a la carte. What do they come with? – A single market a la carte,” one Brussels source is quoted as saying.

Downing Street has insisted that May’s plan the “best of both worlds” for the post-Brexit UK – EU relations as it would merge the customs partnership with “max fac” options.

Under it, Britain would maintain “full regulatory alignment” on goods to reduce border checks and resolve the issue with the land border between Northern Ireland and EU member state Ireland. Yet, under this setup divergence is expected to be allowed on the bigger services sector.

Even UK Brexit Secretary David Davis is said to have warned May that the EU is set to reject her plan.

Friday’s meeting during which May is expected to seek her Cabinet’s agreement on the Brexit white paper has been preceded by threats from “the Brexiteer wing” her Conservative Party that they would not accept any proposal by the Prime Minister that might keep the UK “too closely tied” to the EU regulations.

(Banner image: Flickr)

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