A new report published today (Friday) by the Institute of Directors puts forward a proposal for the UK to remain in a ‘partial’ customs union with the EU post-Brexit.
The proposal suggests agreeing a new customs union between the UK and the EU covering industrial goods and processed agricultural products, but that would still allow the UK to strike independent trade deals on other goods.
Commenting, Ben Bradshaw MP, leading supporter of Open Britain, said:
“This suggestion of a ‘partial customs union’ with the EU is a noble attempt to clean up the mess the Government has created. The only problem is, it would resolve almost nothing.
“In the Single Market and the Customs Union, we have tariff-free and frictionless trade with the rest of the EU and an open border on the island of Ireland. There is no other way to re-create these benefits, no matter what convoluted proposals people come up with.
“This model also wouldn’t change the fact free trade deals will never compensate for the costs of leaving the Single Market and the Customs Union. The reality, as the Government’s own secret analysis shows, is that most new free trade deals beyond Europe will have an infinitesimal impact on UK GDP. And in fact, we risk losing the trade deals we have now as an EU member with over 65 countries worldwide.
“The Government has promised a deal that delivers the ‘exact same benefits’ as we have now in our trade relationship with Europe, but as it becomes clearer just how undeliverable this pledge is, everybody is entitled to keep an open mind about whether Brexit is the right path for our country.”