UK dismisses report that it could stay in customs union after 2021

Font Size

A video grab from footage broadcast by the UK Parliament's Parliamentary Recording Unit (PRU) shows Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May as she speaks during Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) in the House of Commons in London on May 16, 2018. — AFP

LONDON — A source in Theresa May’s Downing Street office has dismissed a media report saying that Britain would tell Brussels it was prepared to stay in the European Union’s customs union beyond 2021.

May’s ministers are deadlocked over a future deal with the bloc and the Telegraph newspaper said Britain could stay aligned with the customs union if technology needed to operate borders was not ready in time for 2021, when a transition period after Brexit ends.

“We agreed in December and in March to a backstop but the proposal put forward by the EU is completely unacceptable,” the person familiar with the situation said.

“It would mean a border down the Irish sea and we could never agree to that. Negotiations are taking place on what a workable backstop might be.

“The PM and the government are absolutely clear once the implementation period is over in December 2020 we will be able to not only negotiate and sign trade deals with the rest of the world but also implement them.” — Reuters