Published: Fri, May 18, 2018
Economy | By

United Kingdom may crash out of European Union without Brexit deal: Varadkar

United Kingdom may crash out of European Union without Brexit deal: Varadkar

The British government is considering staying aligned to the EU's customs union for years after a post-Brexit transition period if it can not resolve the Irish border issue, newspaper reports said Thursday.

Theresa May has committed Britain to leaving the customs union as part of Brexit, but what system replaces this is now the subject of fierce debate among the Prime Minister's top team.

It is an alternative to the "backstop" put forward by the EU previous year, in which Northern Ireland would remain fully aligned to the customs union and single market after Brexit until a solution for avoiding a hard border is found.

The prime minister is boxed in by Brexiteers who despise her customs partnership model, and by the European Union and Dublin who will not accept the so-called maximum facilitation option, which foresees technology and customs exemptions as the way forward.

Earlier on Wednesday, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called on May to step down and allow his party to negotiate a "comprehensive customs union" with the EU, something opposition lawmakers say is gaining support in parliament.

A planned agreement allowing Irish students to continue to qualify for home fee status and student loan funding in the United Kingdom after Brexit is "discriminatory" and could imperil the UK's continued participation in European Union higher education programmes, experts have warned.

That the plan is being denied is understandable as extending membership of the customs union crosses another of the Brexiteers' red lines.

The UK's biggest single trading partner is the European Union and this will continue to be the case after Brexit, however, the trade will become harder to conduct and could risk just in time supply chains and huge tailbacks at ports and airports.

"This again proves that sterling benefits the closer the Brexit scenario under discussion resembles the status quo", said Esther Maria Reichelt, an FX strategist at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.

Ministers are divided and any option would take time to implement.

Mr Eustice said that if Ireland has not fixed that legal failure after the European Union withdrawal agreement is finalised "we would have to consider at that point suspending their access, suspending the agreement so that there is some pressure on them to act".

The former head of Unilever, Niall FitzGerald is of the opinion that Ireland is perfectly positioned to become a global center for research and academia in the post-Brexit world, according to a report published by The Irish Times.

Bradley was questioned about arrangements for the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after Brexit and told the committee there will be no new cameras on the border. They are reinforced by HMRC signalling that neither of the options on the Cabinet table, a customs partnership or "max fac" could be ready by the end of 2020.

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