The EU’s chief negotiator has ruled out allowing the UK to collect customs duties on its behalf, a key UK proposal for post-Brexit trade.
Michel Barnier said the UK wanted to “take back control” of its money, law and borders – but so did the EU.
The EU would not delegate “excises duty collection to a non-member”, he said.
Both he and UK Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said progress had been made but “obstacles” remained before reaching a deal in October.
Mr Raab said: “We have agreed to meet again in mid-August and then to continue weekly discussions to clear away all the obstacles that line our path, to a strong deal in October – one that works for both sides.
He replaced David Davis, who quit as Brexit secretary in protest at Theresa May’s plans for a future economic relationship between the UK and EU, as set out in the White Paper.
That set out in more detail the government’s proposed customs system, the Facilitated Customs Arrangement for goods and agri-foods. The UK’s plan involves it collecting some EU tariffs – in a bid to ensure frictionless trade in goods and to avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland.
Ton van Grinsven
Business Development Director
Customs Support Group