Just when you thought the Brexit battle lines have been defined, along comes the gruesome possibility that Theresa May might end up adopting the Labour Party Brexit policy.


So, after all those red lines that Theresa May drew out so firmly, it looks like one of them might well be about to be spectacularly undrawn.

The Independent is reporting that, hard on the heels of the Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn meeting as well as the Trade Union visits to Downing Street, Whitehall officials have started doing what is being called 'serious work' on keeping the UK inside a customs union with the EU after Brexit, which will of course infuriate all Brexiteers.

It seems that Theresa May is coming under pressure from some cabinet colleagues to relent on this, so as to come to some sort of compromise with Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour Party, should her deal come unstuck again.

And the thinking goes that even if Corbyn himself does not come on board with this new plan, many of his MPs may well do so. There is also the probability that some Tory MPs will be won round too.

The Independent quotes what it calls a well-placed Whitehall source as saying:

"There is serious work going on about a customs union. We need to be prepared, so we are ready if the politics moves in that direction."

Now, it is well known that Corbyn's Labour Party has the rather shaky Brexit policy of staying in a permanent customs union with the EU where the Labour front-benchers dream that they will be at the table with Eurocrats dictating trade policy while having the ability to make UK autonomous trade deals around the world. Talk about chasing unicorns!

So, for the PM to ditch her oft stated policy of no to a customs union, to start looking at one, means that she's stealing Labour's clothes.

A customs union would tie us into the EU once more with no ability to forge new trade deals around the world. It would also allow the EU to set up deals where third countries could sell their goods into the UK markets but with no reciprocal route for the UK to sell its goods to them.

We would just continue to be prisoners of Brussels and all that would have changed is the number on the prison cell door.

The first thing to make this work of course is for the EU to agree to prise open the Withdrawal Agreement to have it comprehensively re-written from cover to cover to accommodate this new customs union.

Then there is the matter of time – how long would this take? Years?

A new permanent customs union approach would require us to negotiate an extension to the Article 50 process and the concessions we would have to make to get this would be eye-wateringly expensive. Gibraltar and fishing grounds spring first to mind, but then be in no doubt that there will also be calls that the so-called Brexit divorce bill of £39 billion must be increased as well.

And already Whitehall civil servants are pouring time, effort and money into preparing for this – even though there appears to be no government sanction for the work.

But with two and a half years having passed since the Brexit vote, they have not managed to put enough effort into no-deal planning.

And now civil servants are being diverted away from what little no-deal planning they were doing, so as to chase after yet another Brexit In Name Only (BRINO) plan.

Why is planning to leave always ignored while any planning that involves staying stuck to the failing EU is leapt upon with such enthusiasm?

Hopefully this anti democratic idea will quickly run out of steam as the Tory MPs and party members begin to make their feelings known.

The former Brexit Secretary, Dominic Raab, said that going into a customs union with the EU post Brexit would be a flagrant breach of the 2017 Tory manifesto and that not having control over our own trade policy would suffocate all the opportunities that Brexit offered.

This idea of a customs union with the EU, however fledgling or unlikely, has to be killed off now, before it gains any traction with our EU blinkered political classes.

Moving on, Spain has caused a bit of a ruckus by getting the EU to refer to Gibraltar as a Crown Colony, which it is not. Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory, whose population voted massively in favour of remaining so in a 2002 referendum.

But I find such a claim a bit rich coming from a country that, not only has two enclaves of its own on the coast of Africa, Cueta and Melilla, but also from a country that wishes, through the Lisbon Treaty, to eventually become a colony of the German and French led European Union.

Maybe we ought to start calling it 'the EU colony formerly known as Spain' and really get up their left nostril.

So, please let us all know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Thank you for watching.



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