Theresa May has said she has the “determination to deliver Brexit” and keep the UK in the single market as opposed to a new customs partnership with the EU.
Coming under pressure from Tory Brexiteers, the prime minister insisted that she does not plan on the EU partnership over fears what it will link the UK too closely to Brussels.
May wrote in The Sun On Sunday that she had the “absolute determination to make a success of Brexit, by leaving the single market and customs union and building a new relationship with EU partners that take back control of our borders, our laws and our money”.
According to May, the UK is “making good progress towards that goal and we will carry on doing so with resolution in the months ahead”.
Eurosceptics within the government are hoping to leave the EU customs union so that the UK can create its own trade deals with countries around the world. However, despite this decision, there have been no agreements on how the current system will be replaced.
Tory party members who are pro-EU are hoping that the government will settle on a system similar to Norway’s, which will allow the UK to operate within the European Economic Area and European Free Trade Association.
This is not a popular option among Brexiteers, who believe it will mean the UK will be expected to accept free movement. The former Conservative minister Stephen Hammond denied this as said: “If you look at the EEA terms of reference, it is clear there is more leeway to impose restrictions on freedom of movement.”
On the Andrew Marr show, business secretary Greg Clark warned of the “huge importance” of successfully replacing the EU customs union to avoid friction at the border for companies such as Toyota (NYSE: TM).