As reported by Bloomberg, UK Prime Minister Theresa May is outlining a trade compromise plan with the EU in hopes that she can keep her fracturing parliament together, and grease the wheels of Brexit negotiations in Brussels which have stalled.
"Ministers don’t expect to see the full detail of May’s post-Brexit blueprint until the eve of the Cabinet meeting at which they’re supposed to reach agreement on it. But a British official, speaking on condition of anonymity, gave an outline on Wednesday of a new customs proposal to bridge the divide between ministers in May’s Tory party who want a clean split with the EU and their colleagues who say businesses need to keep the closest possible ties to the bloc.
At stake is whether the U.K. government can devise a coherent and unified position that negotiators can then present to their EU counterparts. It also needs to be a plan that the EU doesn’t immediately reject, as time runs out to reach a deal. May meets German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Thursday.
The customs idea will be included in a broader Brexit plan to be published next week that is expected to call for closer ties to the bloc than May had initially envisaged. Pro-Brexit ministers who want a clean break from the EU are so far keeping a low profile and Environment Secretary Michael Gove -- a leading Brexit campaigner -- said he didn’t expect to see colleagues resign in protest.
The new trade policy -- called a “facilitated customs agreement” -- is a blend of the two U.K. options which split the Cabinet in May and caused the logjam in the negotiations since.
May’s aides hope this single new idea will offer the “best of both worlds” from the two previous customs options and allow ardent Brexit backers like Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and pro-EU ministers such as Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond to agree."
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