Boris Attacks EU Customs Union, But Backs Years of Effective Membership

GettyImages-542740994 (1)
Stefan Rousseau/WPA/Getty

The Foreign Secretary has renewed his attack on the Prime Minister’s increasingly “soft” Brexit plan, claiming it will leave the UK unable to take back control of trade and strike deals.

Theresa May wants to keep the United Kingdom tied to the European Union’s Custom’s Union after the divorce, forced to mirror many of its rules in order to keep the border with the Republic of Ireland open.

Boris Johnson said Britain would only be able to win new free trade deals after Brexit if it is able to offer “unhindered and complicated” opportunities.

However, despite claiming to oppose a customs union in the long term, Mr. Johnson and fellow Brexiteer cabinet member Michael Gove last week backed remaining tied to the union for years after Brexit as a “backstop” option if no alternative for the Irish border is found.

Speaking after a visit to Peru, Chile, and Argentina this weekend, he argued that Britain has become too “Eurocentric” and abandoned trade links with South America and others regions in favour of closer links with France and Germany.

Writing in The Telegraph, he added: “Our Latin American partners are emphatic: if this is to work, we must come fully out of the EU customs union; and there is a lesson from Latin America.

“The continent is divided in two. On the right there is Mercosur, a customs union comprising Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay; and on the left hand side is the Pacific Alliance – a free-trading, free-market grouping – Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Chile – that operate their own trade policies.

“I will not enter into South American controversy except to say that I heard plenty of grumbles against the one-size-fits-all tariffs of Mercosur… and there is absolute unanimity that if we are to be a valid trading partner, then we must take back control – as the PM has said – of our tariff schedules, and do deals that are unhindered and uncomplicated.”

Mrs. May has long promised to take the UK out of the Customs Union, but Brexit-supporting MPs, such as Jacob Rees-Mogg, have begun to question her intentions after she backtracked on a number of issues.

Mr. Rees-Mogg pointed out last week that Mrs. May has also previously promised to take back control of the UK fisheries after Brexit and not pay a huge divorce bill, before reneging on both issues.

Follow Breitbart London on Facebook: Breitbart London

.