Disorderly Brexit will hit economy hard, warns OBR

Disorderly Brexit will hit economy hard, warns OBR

As reported by the UK Telegraph, UK Prime Minister Theresa May is set to ask her cabinet to push through a customs union agreement on Brexit, as May's opponents threaten to tear down her government.

"There is an onus on the Irish Government and the European Union to ensure the commitments made by the British Government to a legally binding backstop are met as the negotiations reach a critical point", she said.

The Irish backstop measure, created to ensure no new border emerges between Ireland and Northern Ireland, is supposed to be temporary until a UK-EU trade deal can be agreed, and Theresa May pledged earlier this year that the arrangement would expire "at the very latest by the end of December 2021".

It would also send a message to business nervous about the process that the region remained "open for business", she added.

He also stressed the EU's insistence that Britain must accept possible checks on goods moving between its mainland and its province of Northern Ireland, saying Brexit will trigger the need for customs, value-added tax and compliance checks with European Union standards.

The British government and leading politicians in Northern Ireland insist they will not agree to a withdrawal treaty that foresees the possibility of Northern Ireland being kept inside the EU's economic area while the British mainland is not.

She said: "The uncertainty surrounding Brexit for everyone is substantial, but here in Northern Ireland it is acute".

May's Brexit plan is unpopular with the public and the majority of the cabinet reportedly now prefer a free trade deal. Britain's Brexit minister, Dominic Raab, could also come to Brussels then if weekend talks cover enough ground.




"Most of the trade between north and south is by small traders, 98% of firms in Northern Ireland employ fewer than 20 people, 95% employ fewer than 10 people".

The challenge facing the British PM now is to sell the latest formulation to the whole of her Cabinet and avoid any resignations, having already faced down the resignations of former foreign minister Boris Johnson and former Brexit minister David Davis back in July.

He added that the DUP could vote down the Budget but still support the government in a confidence vote, as long as it changed its approach to Brexit.

Not such a pleasant morning for the Prime Minister who is trying to please the DUP, the European Research Group - the ultra pro-Brexit wing of her own party - and the EU.

The parliamentary arithmetic is hard for May who commands a majority of only 13 lawmakers including the DUP.

The BBC understands Liam Fox, Michael Gove and Dominic Raab expressed concern the whole of the United Kingdom could remain in the customs union for an open-ended period.

In a Q&A session with Reuters, Tony Blair advised parliamentarians to vote the Brexit deal down.

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