Boris Johnson: ‘we can trade freely with Europe outside the customs union’
November 16, 2016

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is believed to have told the Czech newspaper ‘Hospodarske Noviny’ that he did not believe the UK would remain in the EU customs union post-Brexit, but the UK would still be able to maintain free trade with Europe. The Dutch finance minister, Jeroen Dijsselbloem has dismissed Mr Johnson’s vision of the UK, claiming such an option was “impossible”. The customs union is seen by many Brexit supporters as a disadvantage to the UK because EU member states have to apply tariffs to goods arriving from outside the EU, thereby restricting the UK’s ability to negotiate its own trade deals. Speaking on the BBC’s Newsnight programme, Mr Dijsselbloem said that Mr Johnson was not being fair to the British people in offering realistic, available options and affirmed his view that both the UK and EU will be in a “worse situation” post-Brexit. It is a widely held view by many politicians across Europe that the UK will not be able to trade freely with the remaining member states if it refuses to allow the free movement of people from the EU to the UK. Downing Street confirmed that its official position has not changed and no decision has been made on the UK’s membership of the customs union.

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