I led for Labour on our Opposition Day debate on the UK’s post-Brexit customs arrangements with the EU. Two years on from the referendum and five months before the deadline for the Withdrawal Agreement, the Government is still at war with itself over two models: the customs partnership and ‘Maximum Facilitation’. Yet both of these models have already been rejected by the EU and even the Cabinet Secretary has admitted that there had been “serious criticisms made about the technical details of both the models on the table”.
There is a sensible majority across the House of Commons for a solution that protects our economy and for our proposal for a new comprehensive customs union, which is the best option to ensure frictionless trade with the EU; to protect our manufacturing base and to help to prevent a hard border in Ireland. It also enjoys the support of both the CBI and the trade unions. Alongside a customs union with the EU, we want the closest possible relationship with the single market, and to maintain participation in the agencies and partnerships that we’ve built with the EU over 45 years.