European Council

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:43 pm on 14th March 2017.

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Photo of Theresa May Theresa May The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 12:43 pm, 14th March 2017

First, the hon. Lady is slightly misinterpreting the speech I gave at Lancaster House, in which I said that there are certain elements of the customs union that we would not wish to be part of because they prevent us from negotiating trade deals on our own, as the United Kingdom, with other countries across the world. I said that the relationship we want with the customs union is to have

“as seamless and as frictionless a border as possible”.

I indicated that that might be called “associate membership” or it might be something else, but we need to do that as part of the negotiations. Our relationship with the customs union will be part of the negotiations that will start when we trigger article 50.