European Council

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:43 pm on 11th April 2019.

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Photo of Theresa May Theresa May The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 1:43 pm, 11th April 2019

My right hon. and learned Friend is right that, as we look to that future relationship, we are looking at the customs arrangement that would be in place in that future relationship. We have already indicated, as is in fact reflected in the political declaration, that we want to retain the benefits of a customs union—no tariffs, no quotas and no rules of origin checks. That is provided for in the political declaration as it currently stands. Of course, we have not been able to enshrine that in legal text, because it is not possible for the European Union to negotiate that treaty with us until we are a third country—until we are out of the European Union—so any commitments that are made here will be about the negotiating objectives that we take through into that process. However, there will still be negotiations to be had with the European Union.

In terms of adding to and clarifying what is in that political declaration, and the position of the UK Government, the EU Council, as I have indicated, has said that it would be willing to look at additions and clarifications to that political decoration.