Brexit: Government draws up third customs model

Monday, July 2, 2018

The government has drawn up plans for a third customs model once the UK leaves the EU, according to reports.

Theresa May will meet with senior ministers on Friday to discuss the new model at Chequers, as the plans are yet to be made available to the public.

The first model was a customs partnership, which would see the UK collect tariffs on behalf of the European Union for goods coming to the UK that would be destined for other EU member states.

Read more: The customs union is a key part of Brexit – but what is it?

It was thought business would be able to claim back any tariff rebate from the government if the goods stayed within the UK.

The second model, known as max-fac (maxiumum facilitation) would see the implementation of new technology and trusted trader schemes to minimise the need for checks on goods at the border between the UK and Ireland. It would see the removal of any need to employ any physical customs checks.

The plan to be discussed on Friday will be the Prime Minister’s third plan for dealing with the customs union, after her previous two models have been deemed undeliverable by many Brexiteers and remainers in her party.

Staunch Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg has been outspoken about the government’s Brexit plans, even suggesting the Prime Minister could end splitting the party up if she didn’t deliver the Brexit the country voted for.

Read more: Jacob Rees-Mogg: May must deliver promised Brexit or risk government's collapse

"Theresa May must stand firm for what she herself has promised,” he said in an article in The Daily Telegraph.

"One former Tory leader, Sir Robert Peel, decided to break his manifesto pledge and passed legislation with the majority of his party voting the other way.

"This left the Conservatives out of office for 28 years.

"At least he did so for a policy that works. At Chequers [Mrs May] must stick to her righteous cause and deliver what she has said she would, she must use her undoubted grace to persevere."

Mrs May will bring together her Cabinet at her country residence to thrash out details of a white paper setting out the UK's plans for areas such as trade.