Boris Johnson tears into Prime Minister's "crazy" customs plan

Boris Johnson tears into Prime Minister's

Boris Johnson tears into Prime Minister's "crazy" customs plan

Shadow Brexit minister Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town said: "On the final day of Lords Report, the main focus of our cross-party efforts to ensure the Bill is fit for goal will be twofold".

He also noted that there were some unresolved issues concerning the future customs options after the meeting of the cabinet's Brexit subcommittee was held last week, referring to the fact that May delayed her final decision on the matter after some pro-Brexit ministers raised their concern over her proposal on a "customs partnership".

The Foreign Secretary's intervention came a day after the Business Secretary, Greg Clark, warned that thousands of jobs could be at risk unless the Cabinet endorsed her post-Brexit blueprint.

"The issue with the customs partnership is to be effective it would have to keep us in the single market as well", he told ITV's Peston on Sunday.

A number of Cabinet ministers spoke out against the Prime Minister's hybrid customs partnership model, which would see Britain collect tariffs on behalf of the European Union for goods destined for the block, with firms potentially claiming back a rebate if products remained in the United Kingdom on a lower-tariff regime.

Tory former minister Dominic Grieve said it was "regrettable" and "undesirable" that Mr Johnson had chose to sound off in public. On Sunday he insisted that the partnership idea was far from dead.

The Business Secretary, highlighting the importance of having a customs deal with "the minimum of frictions" to firms operating a just-in-time production line, noted how Toyota, which employs 3,500 people at plants in the United Kingdom, was deciding where its next plant should be in Europe.

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The system would not help the United Kingdom take back control of our trade policies, laws, borders or our money, he added.

He was backed by former home secretary Amber Rudd, who said Mr Clark was right to argue the case "for a Brexit that protects existing jobs and future investment".

As well as the customs union plan, "we want to get as close to the single market as we possibly can", he said.

The swift show of support for Mr Clark led to speculation the move had been orchestrated by Number 10, a claim dismissed as "nonsense" by a Downing Street insider.

The Tory party is on the brink of a "civil war" over the controversial European Union customs partnership, with some warning that it could lead to Theresa May's downfall. "Following last week's sub-committee meeting, ..." Chuka Umunna, the Labour backbencher who jointly chairs a cross party pro-Europe group with the Tory MP Anna Soubry, says it is time for Labour to be clear about where it stands.

"We are supporting the Prime Minister in what she set out in the manifesto - most importantly because that is our deal with the voters - but also in her Lancaster House, Florence and Mansion House speeches".

The UK Government is also envisaging a second, "maximum facilitation" option that would involve not only technological support, but also infrastructure, whereas London has committed itself to not creating any infrastructure at the border between the British province of Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, which is an European Union member.

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