Brexit: Interim customs union plan may be aimed at appeasing Tory party, says Labour MP

Brexit: 'Interim customs union plan may be for internal Tory Party consumption', says Labour MP

Steve McCabe welcomes the interim customs union plan

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The announcement of a temporary customs union is good but could just be for internal Conservative Party consumption, according to a Labour MP.

The Department for Exiting the European Union has announced that it wants an interim customs union with the EU after Brexit whilst a new system is arranged.

Labour MP Steve McCabe who supported Remain, told Julia Hartley-Brewer that he wonders whether the announcement "is for internal Conservative Party consumption" because "as far as I know we’re still sorting out the Irish border, this ‘divorce’ settlement and the rights of citizens."

But he admits "if we’re going to protect the trade then some arrangement over the customs union I think is essential.

"I don’t know if the other 27 would agree this...we want to leave the EU but we want to retain a key benefit of being a member and it's whether or not we can get there.”

He thinks, bearing in mind precedents like Turkey’s agreement with the EU, this plan could mean "we would be subject to the rules of the European Court of Justice... but presumably without representation and we wouldn’t be free to make other trade treaties with non-EU countries without EU approval.”

If this happened then “I cannot see the Tory Party being able to deal with that."

Listen to the full interview above