UK's Johnson says EU customs partnership plan is 'crazy'
Britain’s Foreign Secretary has described a proposed customs partnership with the European Union after Britain leaves the bloc, believed to be Prime Minister Theresa May’s preferred option, as “crazy”, Reuters reports.
Britain has yet to make a decision on what it wants its future customs arrangements with the EU to be, with divisions within May’s government over how to ensure the border is as “frictionless as possible”.
On Sunday, business minister Greg Clark made the case for a customs partnership, saying ministers were working on it and another high-tech option.
“It’s totally untried and would make it very, very difficult to do free trade deals,” Johnson said in an interview published in Tuesday’s Daily Mail newspaper.
“If you have the new customs partnership, you have a crazy system whereby you end up collecting the tariffs on behalf of the EU at the UK frontier.”
May’s decision to leave the EU’s customs union, which sets tariffs for goods imported into the bloc, has become one of the main flashpoints in the Brexit debate in Britain, pitting companies and pro-EU campaigners against a vocal group of hardline eurosceptic lawmakers.