Nationalist politicians fear hard border following rejection of customs union

NewsPoliticsNorth East will be hit with a 16% economic hit in GDP from Brexit no-deal Jack Peat

The UK will have to face "unavoidable" trade barriers if it leaves the customs union and single market, the Mr Barnier said. Unlike previous EU trade deal with other countries, the British government wants to strike a unique partnership that has never happened before which is going to be very hard and potentially a lengthy exercise to achieve anything near as being a member unless a compromise is reached between Uk's government and the European union.

Barnier has said that Britain "will continue to have all the economic benefits, therefore it must apply all the rules" during this transition period.

Downing Street also sought to draw a line under the customs union issues after days of conflicting messages from ministers about the approach to future arrangements.

The EU and Britain hope to agree the transition period by the end of March before moving on to talks about their future relationship, including a possible trade deal.

Her intervention came after Liam Fox, the International Trade Secretary, made clear that Britain could not be in any form of customs union with the EU as this would prevent it from striking its own trade deals post Brexit.

At a Future of the City dinner, Bailey that under European Union proposals TTIP would have resulted in "close regulatory co-operation which could underpin broad mutual recognition and thus a commitment to ensuring open markets".

Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Jenkin said that it was now time for all ministers to get behind the PM and support the agreed Government position.

Shadow Northern Ireland secretary Owen Smith slammed the "cavalier attitude" of the Prime Minister and said leaving the customs union would threaten the peace process.

The UK and European Union agreed last December that regardless of what happens in the latter stages of Brexit negotiations, there will be no hard Border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Theresa May is already gearing up for a battle with Brussels over free movement rules during the transition.

It could also mean a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic - physical infrastructure and vehicle spot checks that could stir up sectarian violence again, after nearly 20 years of peace under Good Friday Agreement, warns The Irish Times.

Describing the civil service as the envy of the world, she added: "We have to have these forecasts before making decisions".

The Sunday Times reported that if the prime minister was to opt for the United Kingdom to remains in a customs union with the European Union - which would allow for the "frictionless trade" agreement she has called for - it could trigger resignations of cabinet ministers and a possible coup.

Theresa May says Britain is leaving the customs union - so what will replace it?

In what No 10 clearly thought would be a move popular with some elements of the party and some newspapers, Mrs May told journalists on the RAF jet that she was prioritising a hard line on post-2019 European Union arrivals in the negotiations with the European Union during the transition.

He wrote: "She can only command a majority in Parliament on her present policy".



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