Boris Johnson attacks PM's customs plan as "crazy"

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The prime minister had been expected to try to force through a revised version of the "customs arrangement" at a meeting of the Brexit "war cabinet" on Thursday, but has reportedly delayed it amid opposition.

Friends of Mr Johnson said that he would not resign. Everyone recognises that. But every business that I talk to wants the certainty that the agreement is the right one. It would be, as it were, implementing as soon as you can do... there will be different parts that can be done immediately.

With deep divisions emerging in Theresa May's Cabinet over the hybrid customs partnership proposal, the CBI's director-general Carolyn Fairbairn welcomed Clark's intervention and called for "pragmatic solutions, not ideology". "There will be things that will take more time".

Mr Clark told the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday that it was "absolutely right" that the United Kingdom leaves the customs union but added that "what we replace it with is of huge importance".

Leading backbench Leaver Bernard Jenkin also heaped pressure on the prime minister predicting May would be forced to drop the plan.

The ex-Residence Secretary wrote on Twitter: "Greg Clark fairly proper, making the case clearly and sure, passionately for a Brexit that protects present jobs and future funding".

Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, welcomed Clark's comments, saying "frictionless trade" was a priority for business.

Brexiteers have rejected the customs partnership, claiming it would keep the United Kingdom too closely tied to Brussels and Mrs May's inner war cabinet is thought to have lined up six-five against it, despite the Prime Minister and Mr Clark backing the model.

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"We have a very successful one in North Wales, but there are choices as to whether that should be located on the Continent".

And he insisted: "We could have management of products coming into this nation - we'll set our personal legal guidelines, our personal insurance policies, our personal laws, and due to this fact we'll decide how environment friendly the border is coming into us".

"The Prime Minister was extraordinarily clear in her article within the Solar on Sunday this morning, saying that we might be out of the customs union and out of the only market and that we might have management of our cash, our borders and our legal guidelines..."

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Johnson picked apart the customers partnership - thought to be the preferred option of UK PM Theresa May - telling the paper that such an arrangement would see the UK collecting import tariffs for the European Union (EU).

She said the United Kingdom was "making good progress towards that goal and we will carry on doing so with resolution in the months ahead".

Mrs May's scheme would entail Britain collecting tariffs on imports heading for the European Union on behalf of Brussels.

She added: "We do not believe that we have to stay in the customs union to have free flow between ourselves and the Republic of Ireland". The UK voted in a referendum to leave the European Union on June 23, 2016, and last March, May officially invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, launching the process of the country's withdrawal from the bloc.

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