John­son crit­i­cises “crazy” plans

The Week - Junior - - Home News -

Foreign Sec­re­tary Boris John­son has been told to stop talk­ing about Brexit af­ter he said that Prime Min­is­ter’s ideas for trade with the Euro­pean Union (EU) were “crazy”. As a mem­ber of the EU, the UK is in a cus­toms union, but af­ter Brexit we’ll leave it. This means the UK and EU will need new ar­range­ments.

What is a cus­toms union?

A cus­toms union is an agree­ment be­tween a group of coun­tries, such as the EU. Busi­nesses in EU coun­tries don’t have to pay tar­iffs (a tax paid to a gov­ern­ment) on any prod­ucts they im­port (buy) or ex­port (sell) from each other, and each EU coun­try has to charge the same tar­iff when they trade with non-EU coun­tries.

What will change af­ter Brexit?

Af­ter Brexit, be­cause the UK will no longer be part of the EU cus­toms union, it will be able to de­cide what tar­iffs should be charged on im­ports and ex­ports.

How will this work?

The Gov­ern­ment is con­sid­er­ing two op­tions. One is known as max­i­mum fa­cil­i­ta­tion – or max fac for short. With this, busi­nesses would pay all their tar­iffs ev­ery few months, rather than when their goods crossed the UK border. Some com­pa­nies say this would be more ex­pen­sive for them. There would also have to be border checks be­tween North­ern Ire­land, which is part of the UK, and Ire­land, which is in the EU. The sec­ond op­tion is a cus­toms part­ner­ship. With this, the UK would col­lect EU tar­iffs (money) on all goods that come into the UK, and busi­nesses would have to ask for a re­fund if the Bri­tish tar­iff was cheaper. The UK would then send any money it owed to the EU.

Why did John­son crit­i­cise the Prime Min­is­ter?

John­son told The Daily Mail news­pa­per the cus­toms part­ner­ship pro­posal – which is said to be the plan that the Prime Min­is­ter prefers – would make it very dif­fi­cult for the UK to make its own trade deals. Some peo­ple think the UK may not be able to charge tar­iffs as low as the EU, and this may mean the UK loses busi­ness. Ex­perts also worry that there would still have to be checks at the border be­tween North­ern Ire­land and Ire­land. Jeremy Hunt, the Health Sec­re­tary, said John­son and other crit­ics in the Gov­ern­ment should be quiet be­cause their com­ments could make it harder for the Prime Min­is­ter to do a deal with the EU. May has said she needs ev­ery­one’s “help and sup­port” be­cause Brexit is com­pli­cated. John­son has since said that he thinks the Prime Min­is­ter’s po­si­tion is “the right one”.

Boris John­son cam­paigned to leave the EU.

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