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What will British ministers discuss at crunch Brexit meeting?

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Updated: 05:35 GMT, Jul 7, 2018 | Published: 05:34 GMT, Jul 7, 2018 |
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British Prime Minister Theresa May will gather her senior ministers for talks on Friday that she hopes will settle differences in her fractious cabinet about Brexit and unblock stalled talks with the European Union.

The aim is to agree a position on how far to split from the EU after Britain leaves the bloc next year and the details of the talks are likely to be published in a so-called white paper policy document next week.

Here are some of the key issues likely to be discussed:

Customs arrangement

May will unveil a new plan for handling customs with the EU that she hopes will end months of disagreements within her Conservative Party, cabinet and parliament.

Under the new plan, Britain will remain closely aligned to Europe’s rules on manufactured goods, but have the freedom to set its own tariffs on these products once it leaves the bloc.

Technology at the border will help decide whether the incoming goods are destined for Britain or the EU.

If the EU tariffs are higher than in Britain, then British customs officials would collect the tariffs and pass them on to the bloc.

The new policy – known as the “facilitated customs arrangement” – is a blend of two previous options which divided the cabinet and have been rejected by the EU.

If the plan is accepted by ministers and the EU this should please manufacturers who have warned they may have to pull out of Britain without a customs deal because this would fracture supply chains and increase checks at the border.

 

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