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Customs paper watered down after Brexiteers revolt

[ July 17, 2018   //   ]

Scarcely was the ink dry on the Government’s customs bill published last week on 12 July, but Prime Minister Theresa may was forced to accept major amendments to get it passed – narrowly, by just three votes – last night.

The changes include cancelling the plan for the UK to collect import tariffs on behalf of the EU unless the EU does the same for the UK. This change once again raises the possibility of a ‘hard border” between the UK and Ireland.

The amendments also envisage allowing the UK to fully withdraw for the EU VAT regime.

However, the changes now risk angering the pro-EU faction in the Conservative party and could also undermine negotiations with Brussels.

CBI director-general Carolyn Fairbairn, in a speech at the Farnborough Air Show, urged politicians in the EU and UK to cut through the ‘sound and fury’ and put pragmatism and the economy first.

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