Brexit: Jeremy Hunt warns Boris Johnson over customs comments

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Jeremy Trace has warned Boris Johnson his public criticism could undermine the UK’s Brexit concluding position.

The health secretary told BBC Radio 4’s Today he thought “it’s signal that we have these debates in private”.

The UK government is currently pick out which form of future trade relations it wants with the EU rather than the detailed negotiations take place in Brussels.

The foreign secretary labeled one of the two options – a customs partnership – “crazy”, in a newspaper interview.

Mr Hunt betrayed Today: “I do think that it is important that we have these polemics in private. Not just because of collective responsibility, which is what democracy depends on, but also because this is a arbitration. On the EU side, if they see divisions in the open, they will exploit that.

“I in point of fact think he has a very important role to play in the Government and he is the architect of the ensemble Brexit campaign and we are listening to what he says and we are doing what he desires.

“But I think we have to recognise that we are not the only people who read the wallpapers in Britain – they are read across the world – and we need to give Theresa May some space.

“If we are customary to have these lively debates, we should have them in surreptitiously because that will strengthen Theresa May’s negotiating hand.”

Prayed if his message would be “Boris belt up”, Mr Hunt replied to the interviewer: “You could say that – I resolution say he’s a marvellous foreign secretary but let’s work as a team.”


What are the government’s opportunities?

  • A ‘highly streamlined’ customs arrangement – This would minimise tariffs checks rather than getting rid of them altogether, using new technologies and fetiches like trusted trader schemes, which could allow guests to pay duties in bulk every few months rather than every all at once their goods crossed a border
  • A customs partnership – This would eliminate the need for new customs checks at the border. The UK would collect tariffs set by the EU customs marrying on goods coming into the UK. If those goods didn’t leave the UK and UK tolls on them were lower, companies could then claim primitive the difference.

The UK is committed to leaving the current customs union when it flights the EU on 29 March 2019 and ministers are under pressure to agree in the last on a successor arrangement amid divisions in cabinet.

Downing Street has named two options but leading Brexiteers in the cabinet, including Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, clothed been openly sceptical of the customs partnership, believed to be the PM’s preferred opportunity.

Writing in the Sunday Times, Mrs May promised a solution which ensured frictionless interchange, enabled the UK to strike trade deals around the world and which did not culminate in a hard border on the island of Ireland.

Speaking after meeting his French counterpart in London, Mr Johnson suggested he agreed with Mrs May, saying “we think that is possible, she thinks that is attainable, so that is the way forward”.

But French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the for the present was approaching for the UK to make up its mind.

“I think it is essential that at the (EU summit) intersection in June there should be important progress,” he said.

“There was an bargain in principle with regards to withdrawal but it hasn’t been completed and now we press to go to definitive decisions, and the responsibility for those is with the British side.”

As meditation continues over which type of trade deal the UK wants with the EU post-Brexit, Mrs May is denying three meetings with large groups of Conservative MPs in Downing In someones bailiwick.

Assistant political editor Norman Smith described it as a “factual” donation of the customs options rather than making the case for either of the two.

He mean those invited – including former ministers Priti Patel, Damian Leafy, Grant Shapps, Cheryl Gillan and Maria Miller – were uttered that neither models would work “in their current colour”.

Mr Shapps, who called for Mrs May to consider her position last year, told the BBC he welcomed No 10’s “candid attempts” to keep MPs informed and not to railroad them in supporting one particular road.

“It was very much ‘here are the advantages and disadvantages of one and the other and you can now see what we are take to deal with’,” he said.

Damian Green, the former ahead secretary of state, said he expected a revised version of the alternative “superlative facilitation” model – which would use technology to ensure the smooth whirl of goods at the border – would eventually prevail, although he questioned whether this would be up and perpetual in time.

“It seems to me overwhelmingly likely that we will and should end up with some humanitarian of compromise,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour.

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