European Union offers 12-month extension to Brexit transition deal to 2021

Irving Hamilton
October 13, 2018

The EU wants Northern Ireland to remain in the single market and the customs union to avoid customs checks until there is a final free trade deal between the United Kingdom and the EU.

"He said: "[The backstop] would have to be finite, it would have to be short and it would have to be, I think, time-limited in order for it to be supported here.

Under EU rules agreed in 2017, citizens can access accounts set up and based in one country while visiting other member states, although this regulation would cease to apply in the event of no deal.

The pledge came amid speculation over possible ministerial resignations if the Prime Minister gives too much ground ahead of the Brussels summit next week.

So all that would happen if we signed backstop keeping us in customs union sine die is that the ghastly debate about whether ultimately to go for a hard rupture with the EU, a hard Brexit, would go on for year after confidence-eroding year.

They fear the arrangement could end up becoming Britain's permanent economic relationship with the EU - despite the fact that government policy is to leave the customs union - as it would limit the UK's ability to strike future trade deals with non-EU economies.

The revolt from May's coalition allies from Northern Ireland's small Democratic Unionist Party revolved around a separate idea it feels would threaten the integrity of the UK.

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Several British ministers are threatening to quit over concessions Prime Minister Theresa May is preparing to make to the European Union on Brexit, UK newspapers said on Friday.

The rebate is a financial mechanism that has been in place since 1985, after it was secured by former Tory Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, slashing the UK's net contribution to the EU.

He said: 'She [Theresa May] has declared herself to be a unionist, she has repeated that time and time again, she knows the consequences if she walks away from that promise, not just for Northern Ireland because of course she will open a Pandora's box in Scotland as well.

Pensions secretary Esther McVey pointedly refused to endorse the PM's plan during the latest cabinet meeting and worldwide development secretary Penny Mordaunt and the leader of the Commons Andrea Leadsom also made it clear they held deep concerns.

He told BBC's Newsnight: 'Political resignations are part of the landscape'.

Mr Collins said: 'He can send as many letters as he likes, I won't stop doing my job'.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, leader of the influential European Research Group of Brexiteer MPs, said: "It is worth remembering that income tax was introduced as a temporary measure".

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