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Announcing the Commons schedule for the next fortnight, Andrea Leadsom, the leader of the house, gave no timings for the return of the European Union withdrawal bill from the Lords, or any news on three other key Brexit-connected bills. This has increased the likelihood that each team will conclude both options need yet more work.

But as time ticks by, those decisions that have been kicked down the road are becoming increasingly pressing as European Union negotiators wait for Britain's detailed position not only on customs, but also on the wider trade agreement and governance.

He wants the Government to negotiate a temporary customs union that will expire in March 2022, three years after the United Kingdom formally leaves the EU.

Mr Johnson and other Brexiteers favour a "max fac", or maximum facilitation, option for future customs arrangements, which relies on technology and a "trusted trader" plan to reduce post-Brexit customs checks. It is a fantasy solution to trade only that ignores the peace on the Irish Border.

The proposals have split May's Cabinet of top ministers, and her party, down the middle.

This comes after Business Secretary Greg Clark last weekend rejected reports that the customs partnership proposal was off the table.




Johnson told Tuesday's edition of the Daily Mail newspaper that the partnership idea was "crazy" and would create a "whole new web of bureaucracy".

Meanwhile, pro-EU British lawmakers have been nibbling away at the government's flagship Brexit bill, which is now going through Parliament, in hopes of softening the terms of departure.

However, Downing Street stood firm on the Brexit transition period - which will see Britain effectively remain in the EU's single market and customs union - ending before 2021.

He also wrote in The Spectator that it is time for the government to end the circular discussions on customs unions.

It also found that even in a "best-case scenario", in which the Government agreed tariff-free, frictionless trade imports on food and drink, global rules would oblige the United Kingdom to conduct more customs and borders checks.

Some pro-EU Labour and Conservative lawmakers in the House of Commons hope they can muster enough support to prevent the government reversing those amendments in votes in the lower house, though their ability to do so is in doubt.


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