Free trade deal with European Union "overwhelmingly probable", says Brexit minister

Boris Johnson and Liam Fox are seen as most likely to quit over the customs union issue

Pro-EU campaigners say leaving the single market will have major implications for trade and the economy. and could even threaten the Northern Ireland peace process.

That was brought home when interior minister Amber Rudd was forced to clarify her remarks at a lunch with journalists that had seemed to suggest the government was still working out its policy on the customs union.

David Sterling's letter to the man who now works as the prime minister's Europe adviser was sent last August.

The defeat is the latest in the House of Lords for May and her Conservative government as parliament debates the European Union withdrawal bill which will sever ties with the European Union and pave the way for Britain to leave in March next year.

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said Ms Rudd had "let slip" that cabinet discussions have not concluded and Mrs May should "listen to the growing chorus that believe she has got it wrong".

The PM and her Cabinet have over and over guaranteed that Britain will leave the EU Customs Union and not join any comparable game plan after Brexit.

Meanwhile, in what will be seen as a boost for May, the Cabinet Office said the British government and the Welsh regional government both confirmed Wednesday that they have reached an agreement on the European Union (withdrawal) bill that will be tabled in the British parliament.

European Union negotiators last week gave a "detailed and forensic rebuttal" to the feasibility of two options put forward by Prime Minister Theresa May in her Mansion House speech last month.

Mexico Makes New Trade Agreement With EU
He said: "Our commitment is to deliver benefits for our citizens at home through closer cooperation with our partners overseas ". In December 2017 the European Union has also concluded a free trade agreement with Japan.

Brexit supporters say remaining in any European Union grouping will force Britain into becoming a "vassal state".

"Leaving the Customs Union is only one part of the story, and a customs union on its own would not remove the need for checks at the borders or provide frictionless trade for businesses".

British Prime Minister Theresa May will be given an indication of the strength of opposition to her Brexit plans as MPs in the House of Commons debate the decision to leave the EU customs union.

"This House has a responsibility not to give the executive more power than is necessary", Lord (Peter) Goldsmith told peers before they voted.

The motion being debated today calls for an establishment of an effective customs union after Brexit.

The Government will decide on one of two options for customs arrangements after Brexit that are now on the table, Downing Street said.

She said: 'Coming out of the customs union means that we will be free to have those deals, deals that suit the UK.

Mr Dodds said if the North was treated any differently from any other part of the United Kingdom under Brexit, his party would vote against Mrs May's minority government which they have been propping up in office.

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