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Downing Street insists UK will leave customs union

Downing Street insists UK will leave customs union
From BBC - February 4, 2018

Downing Street has insisted Britain will leave the customs union after Brexit amid claims of Tory disunity over the UK-EU future relationship.

Theresa May has faced calls to set out clearly what she wants to secure from the negotiations leading up to the UK's departure in March 2019.

But a No 10 source said "to put this to rest, we are categorically leaving".

It comes ahead of a week of key Brexit meetings with the EU chief negotiator and with her most senior ministers.

BBC political correspondent Eleanor Garnier said Mrs May's bespoke deal could still involve some form of customs arrangement, but the details will need to be haggled over.

On Monday, the prime minister and Brexit Secretary David Davis will meet Michel Barnier ahead of the next round of negotiations getting under way.

Later, talks between officials will focus for the first time on the transitional period planned for after Brexit.

Potential sticking points include citizens' rights, with the UK insisting EU nationals arriving during this time should not have the same rights as those who arrived before Brexit day.

Mr Davis and Mr Barnier are expected to reveal the progress of negotiations on Friday.

'Not going to surrender'

How close the UK will remain to the EU's single market and customs union has been a topic of debate among leading Brexiteers and some of those closest to the prime minister.

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