Thursday, 1 March 2018

How Corbyn out-foxed Mrs May over the Customs union imbroglio

Letter sent to the Financial Times:
Your leader “Corbyn’s welcome shift on the custom’s union,” (Financial Times, February 27; concludes that “Britain should maintain a customs union in the interests of the economy.

At Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, Mrs May dismissed this and Mr Corbyn’s position, saying “He [Mr Corbyn] said that he wanted Labour to negotiate a “new comprehensive…customs union”. That would mean that we could not do our own trade deals and would actually betray the vote of the British people.”

Yet the UK Cabinet minister responsible for planning Britain’s future trade policy, International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox, is on the record as agreeing with the FT and Mr Corbyn, and disagreeing with his prime minister, on a customs union.
 In an article he wrote – as a backbencher – published in  The Mail on Sunday on 16 September 2012 ( and reposted of n Dr Fox’s own web site ( he wrote:

 “I believe that the best way forward is for Britain to renegotiate a new relationship with the European Union – one based on an economic partnership involving a customs union and a single market in goods and services.”

Is anyone any clearer?

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