Theresa May saw the EU reject a key element of her Brexit strategy, with Brussels showing strong opposition to the Prime Minister's customs proposals.
Following the latest round of negotiations, EU chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, has the May post-Brexit plan to collect tariffs on behalf of the block at the British border.
Known as a "customs-facilitated arrangement," the Prime Minister's proposal formed a key blueprint for his plan to leave the EU's cabinet at Checkers earlier this month and subsequently exposed in a book. white
Checkers' strategy has led Ms. May to suffer two cabinet resignations of high profile – Boris Johnson and David Davis – as infuriatingly To give a new blow to his plan, Mr. Barnier has took advantage of a joint press conference with Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab, to express his resistance to the customs element of Ms. May's strategy
"Maintain control of our money, our law and our borders also applies to the EU's customs policy, "he added. "The EU can not – and will not delegate the enforcement of its customs policy and rules, VAT and the collection of excise duties to a non-member who is not a member of the EU. not subject to EU governance structures. "
M. Barnier also reiterated that the EU remains open to the idea of a post-Brexit customs union with the UK, although the Prime Minister has consistently ruled it out.
He added: "Any customs arrangement must also be feasible and protect Community and national revenue, without imposing additional costs on businesses and customs authorities."
M. Barnier was also pessimistic about the UK's proposals for a guarantee agreement for the Irish border, which seeks to avoid a narrow border. Northern Ireland if the problem is not solved by future trade relations between the EU and the UK.
The UK rejected the EU's bailout plan, warning that it was likely to divide Ireland from the rest of the UK. Despite the insistence of the United Kingdom, a guarantee agreement must be concluded at the UK level, Barnier said that Brussels "doubted that this could be done without jeopardizing the United Kingdom. integrity of our customs union, our common commercial policy, He revealed that "open and frank" discussions had taken place between the EU and the UK on the issue, the UK promising to return with "Concrete proposals" on how to respond to Brussels concerns
The EU representative also insisted that the UK's 39 billion pound divorce bill had been "definitely accepted" "last December, despite Mr. Raab's efforts to secure a future trade agreement between the EU and the UK