Published: Sat, May 12, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Theresa May backs Boris Johnson despite criticism of 'crazy' customs partnership proposal

Theresa May backs Boris Johnson despite criticism of 'crazy' customs partnership proposal

In what was being seen as a very public challenge to the Prime Minister's stance, Mr Johnson used an interview with the Daily Mail to warn that the customs partnership option would create a "whole new web of bureaucracy".

Downing Street has said Theresa May continues to have full confidence in Boris Johnson, after the Foreign Secretary attacked proposals for a customs partnership after Brexit as "crazy".

But the option favoured by the Foreign Secretary - "maximum facilitation" - is opposed by other members of the Cabinet.

Meanwhile, Theresa May wrote in The Sun on Sunday of her "absolute determination to make a success of Brexit, by leaving the single market and the customs union and building a new relationship with EU partners that takes back control of our borders, our laws and our money".

They have said they want United Kingdom food and farming to be exemplars of high-quality production, but also that they will seek trade deals that secure lower prices for consumers.

"I trust the prime minister to do what she says she will do".

Mr Johnson sparked anger this week after he argued Mrs May's customs partnership option - where Britain would collect taxes on behalf of the European Union - would create "a whole new web of bureaucracy".

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In contrast, the customs partnership will be examined by two Brexiteers - International Trade Secretary Liam Fox and Environment Secretary Michael Gove - and a lone Remainer, Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington.

Mr Grieve added: 'The Prime Minister has a hard task and I don't think it's helped by this tendency of the Foreign Secretary to express himself.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman highlighted how an agreement had already been reached with the European Union on what the Government terms an "implementation period".

Business Secretary Greg Clark, Brexit Secretary David Davis and Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley will look at max-fac.

The row came as Mrs May faces two more parliamentary defeats on her Brexit plan as it nears its final stages in the House of Lords. The prime minister now just wants the plan to "die with dignity", according one Brexiteer's briefing.

Both proposed changes to the EU Withdrawal Bill have cross-party support in the upper chamber, which means they are likely to win in a vote.

This system is also incompatible with the Government's desire to have no hard border with Ireland, as in order to properly implement it checks will need to take place on lorries and other vehicles to make sure smuggling is not taking place.

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