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Report: UK Labor to shift stance on post-Brexit customs union arrangement


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Report: UK Labor to shift stance on post-Brexit customs union arrangement

The U.K. Labor party on Feb. 26 will shift its stance to support the U.K. being part of an EU customs union after Brexit, the Financial Times wrote.

Opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, deems "a" customs union, instead of "the" customs union, a feasible option for the U.K. The change will not be a shocker, as that is what the party leadership has been suggesting over the past seven months, a "person familiar with the discussions" told the FT.

A vote is due on rebel Tory amendments to a customs bill in the coming weeks, and the shift from Labor could mean the party joining other Conservative rebels on amendments to the bill.

The latest version of an amendment from Anna Soubry, a Tory rebel, proposes the country remaining in "a customs union," The Guardian reported.

Reportedly, Prime Minister Theresa May "categorically" ruled out remaining in the European Union's customs union, in an apparent concession to the euroskeptic faction of her government.

The opposition party is looking for support from Tory lawmakers on an amendment from Peter Dowd, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, who wants the U.K. to secure tariff-free access to the EU and be able to join a customs union with the bloc if needed, the FT reported.

Trade talks between Britain and the EU are due to start in March, when the U.K. will seek to retain the bloc's regulations on a voluntary basis for key sectors, Bloomberg News reported, citing senior minister Jeremy Hunt's comment made on BBC Radio. May will set out her strategy March 2, according to her spokesman.