Jacob Rees Mogg is entirely correct here, the idea of a customs partnership with the EU post-Brexit doesn’t work. Simply because it is tantamount to no Brexit at all. That being why so many Remoaners are in favour of it of course. Anything at all that ties us into the EU is just fine, the views of the electorate be damned.
Theresa May’s preferred customs model is flawed, “deeply unsatisfactory” and would keep the UK tied to the single market, the Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has said, urging the prime minister to ditch the proposal at a Brexit cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
A group of 60 Eurosceptic MPs from the European Research Group (ERG), led by Rees-Mogg, have sent May a 30-page report opposing the prime minister’s plan for a “customs partnership” model, one of two options on the table at the Brexit cabinet subcommittee meeting.
That we have a customs agreement with the EU is just fine of course. Who wouldn’t like to have free trade across the continent? It’s the form of such an agreement which is the problem however:
Philip Hammond, the chancellor, and Greg Clark, the business secretary, are backing the customs partnership plan, under which Britain will mirror the EU’s customs regime at its borders and collect tariffs on behalf of Brussels.
If Britain sets different tariffs in the future, importers will then be able to claim back a refund from HM Revenue & Customs if a new tracking system shows their goods were destined for the UK market.
That sort of arrangement isn’t the problem. It’s instead that, from the EU point of view, if we’re to be inside the customs barriers then we’ve got to agree to all of the other rules. For they do have this insistence that free trade must come with the same set of regulations. Something that’s a nonsense of course, we can and should have competition in standards and regulation just as much as we should in method of organisation, the price of services or the colour of goods.
The sad truth is that absolutely any agreement about the Single Market, customs union, customs arrangements like this, they will all be tantamount to not having Brexit at all. For they will all mean, whatever anyone says, being subject to the same basic set of regulations we’re leaving to escape. This is why so many Remoaners are so interested in such agreements of course. Also why we should tell them to go boil their heads.