The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

Con­fu­sion af­ter Rudd sug­gests cus­toms union po­si­tion may shift

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Home Sec­re­tary Am­ber Rudd was forced to of­fer a clar­i­fi­ca­tion af­ter ap­pear­ing to sug­gest the Gov­ern­ment’s stance on leav­ing the cus­toms union af­ter Brexit could shift.

Her com­ments were made as MPs in the cham­ber de­bated whether the UK should stay in the EU cus­toms union and agreed the Gov­ern­ment should in­clude the op­tion in Brexit ne­go­ti­a­tions.

Speak­ing ahead of the non-bind­ing vote dur­ing a lunch with jour­nal­ists, Ms Rudd sug­gested Cabi­net min­is­ters were “still work­ing” on the po­si­tion – de­spite Theresa May’s vow to leave it.

“I’m com­mit­ted to the Gov­ern­ment’s po­si­tion, which to some ex­tent we are still work­ing on,” she said.

“We still have a few dis­cus­sions to be had in a re­ally pos­i­tive, con­sen­sual, easy way among some of my Cabi­net col­leagues in or­der to ar­rive po­si­tion.”

Labour’s Shadow Brexit Sec­re­tary Keir Starmer said Ms Rudd’s state­ments meant the prime min­is­ter should look again at stay­ing in the cus­toms union.

“Am­ber Rudd ap­pears to have let slip that dis­cus­sions around the Cabi­net ta­ble about ne­go­ti­at­ing a cus­toms union with the EU have not in fact con­cluded,” he said.

“If that is so, then the Prime Min­is­ter should re­think her ap­proach and lis­ten to the grow­ing cho­rus of voices in par­lia­ment and in busi­ness that be­lieve she has got it wrong on a cus­toms union.”

Ms Rudd later tweeted a clar­i­fi­ca­tion to her orig­i­nal com­ments, which she said were in­tended to avoid “get­ting into on­go­ing Cabi­net dis­cus­sions about our fu­ture trad­ing re­la­tion­ship” .

“I should have clearer,” she said.

“Of course when we leave the EU we will be leav­ing the cus­toms union.” at a fi­nal been

 ??  ?? RESPITE: Cus­toms charges for the off­shore in­dus­try which were due to come into force in July have been pushed back by nearly a year
RESPITE: Cus­toms charges for the off­shore in­dus­try which were due to come into force in July have been pushed back by nearly a year
 ??  ?? Home Sec­re­tary Am­ber Rudd is un­der fire
Home Sec­re­tary Am­ber Rudd is un­der fire

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