NBE closes EGP 10bn securitisation bond subscription for El Taamir    GERD parties agree to work on legally binding agreement    AU calls for legally binding agreement on Ethiopian Dam    Tokyo stocks open lower as investors tentative ahead of long weekend    Egypt asserts need for ceasefire, political solution in Libya    Military airstrike kills armed bandits in northwest Nigeria    Egypt reports 47 deaths from COVID-19, lowest daily record in 5 weeks    New study show immunity drops quickly in mild COVID-19 cases    CIFF opens up to submissions for Cairo Film Connection 2020    Culture Ministry to celebrate 23 July Revolution anniversary with special events    After record COVID-19 deaths, Bolsonaro tells Brazilians to stop 'whining'    Hamilton wins F1 Hungarian Grand Prix    Future of Egypt's rhythmic gymnastics at stake after doping positives    UPDATED: Pope Francis arrives in Baghdad for risky, historic Iraq tour    Top-four a possibility for West Ham, says Moyes    Juve face Lazio test before crunch Champions League game    Egypt signs deal with Belgium's DEME to produce green hydrogen    Sudan keen to enhance cooperation with Egypt: Sudanese FM Al-Mahdi    Egypt improves ranking on Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom    Real Madrid's Mariano Diaz to miss derby against Atletico    Egypt court upholds 3-year prison sentence for Mubarak-era Minister El-Feky    A Happy Purrfect Rescue Story of 4 Cats in Thailand    Sisi mourns Kamal Amer, head of parliament's defence and national security committee    Spotify competitor Anghami to become first Arab tech firm to list on Nasdaq, eyes plans for Egypt    Egypt's fuel subsidies saw drop by 45% in 1H of FY2020/21, reaching EGP 8.4 mln    Egypt, AfDB ink €109 million financing deal to provide sanitation services to residential communities in Luxor    Egypt's Zamalek arrive in Tunisia to face Esperance in CAF Champions League    French President Macron renews calls for end to repression in Myanmar    Egypt reports 577 new coronavirus cases, 44 deaths on Wednesday    Saudi-led coalition says destroys Houthi missile fired towards Jazan: State Media    Winston Churchill's Moroccan landscape painting owned by Angelina Jolie sells for $11.5M    Syrian pound hits new low in contagion from neighboring Lebanon's currency crisis    Orascom Construction to build Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Centre    Respect for diversity    Three decades and counting    Huawei launches HUAWEI FreeLace Pro in Egypt with extra-long battery life and top-grade noise cancellation    Enhanced Labs signs Mr. Olympia 2020 "Big Ramy" And His Trainer Dennis James    Second coronavirus wave in Egypt more serious, widespread: statistics authority    1st hours of registration for coronavirus vaccine seen 7,000 Egyptians signing up: ministry    King Tutankhamun funerary mask is must-see tourist icon: The Telegraph    Russian flights to return to Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada for first time since 2015    Egypt eyes gradual return for tourism after revenues fall to $4 bln in 2020    Seasoned Egyptian screenwriter Wahid Hamed dies at 76    Coronavirus strikes Egypt's youth team as 17 players, coach test positive    Nassef Sawiris plans to up his stake in owner of New York Knicks, Rangers    Cairo International Book Fair suspended for five months over coronavirus concerns    Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan to resume Nile dam talks today    Trump says won't blame Egypt for being ‘upset' over GERD dispute with Ethiopia    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

May says Britain will leave customs union, EU warns on Irish border again
Published in Ahram Online on 17 - 05 - 2018

Prime Minister Theresa May said on Thursday Britain would leave the EU customs union after Brexit but a source said London was considering applying the bloc's external tariffs for a period beyond December 2020.
Asked about reports that London would ask to stay in the European Union's customs area beyond the end of a post-Brexit transition period in 2020, May denied she was "climbing down" on plans to leave.
"No. The United Kingdom will be leaving the customs union as we're leaving the European Union. Of course, we will be negotiating future customs arrangements with the European Union and I've set three objectives," May told reporters on the sidelines of an EU summit in the Bulgarian capital Sofia.
She said the objectives were that Britain should have its own trade policy with the rest of the world, should have frictionless trade with the EU and that there be no "hard border" with EU member Ireland.
But the source, familiar with the discussions in London, said aligning Britain with EU import tariffs for an extended period could be part of a backstop arrangement in the event of a delay in the implementation of any Brexit deal.
The source said on condition of anonymity that the government was trying to find a way to make the backstop arrangement with the EU more acceptable to Britain, rather than seeking an extension of a transition period.
May's spokeswoman said negotiations on the backstop arrangement were continuing, and that Britain did not want or expect to have to use it.
May has been struggling to unite her cabinet over the terms of Britain's divorce with the EU, with a row over future customs arrangement dividing her government and all but stalling Brexit negotiations.
EU leaders meeting May in Sofia on Thursday were "in listening mode" and hoping for reassurances from her, said one official, before a formal summit in June when the sides want to mark another milestone in the negotiations.
That is needed to seal a final divorce deal in October, leaving the EU enough time to ratify it by Brexit day in March 2019.
Britain otherwise risks crashing out of the bloc, a scenario that could hurt the economy and disrupt people's lives.
Under Pressure
The EU says this schedule is coming under pressure as there has been not enough progress in the negotiations in recent months, most importantly on how to avoid physical controls on the border between the Irish Republic and the British province of Northern Ireland.
"It is an absolute redline for us that there could not be a hard border on Ireland," Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar told reporters in Sofia.
If no better ideas emerge, the bloc wants the backstop clause under which it would go on regulating trade in Northern Ireland after Brexit to prevent a hard border. Both sides fear a return of border controls could reignite the violence that afflicted Northern Ireland until a peace deal in the late 1990s.
"We have a text which is the Irish backstop ... and we need that to be part of the withdrawal agreement. And if it is not part of the withdrawal agreement, then there will be no withdrawal agreement," Varadkar said.
Under such a scenario, Britain would not be given the adaptation period from next March to the end of 2020, but go straight into being out of the EU with little detail agreed on how to handle its ties with the bloc.
May has said as it stood in March, the EU's backstop was unacceptable because it would cut off Northern Ireland from the rest of the United Kingdom.
The source said extending the use of EU tariffs was part of discussions to make the backstop arrangement more palatable to Britain, and could be triggered if there were a delay in the ratification of the Brexit deal or if there were problems introducing new technology at the border.
At home, May has to balance the demands of Brexit supporters against those ministers who want to keep the closest possible ties to the EU, and any hint that Britain could stay within the customs union has become a flashpoint.
The EU says that would be the best way to avoid a hard Irish border.
"If we are not making real substantial progress by June then we need to seriously question whether we are going to have a withdrawal agreement at all," Varadkar said.

Clic here to read the story from its source.