In response to media reports of the Brexit White Paper that will be presented to the Cabinet at Chequers on Friday, Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP, board member of Leave Means Leave, commented:
“The so-called ‘third way’ solution to our future customs relationship with the European Union is little more than a rebrand of the ‘New Customs Partnership’ which the Government presented last year. At the time, the proposal was unacceptable and this ‘new’ approach retains all of the worst deficiencies of the old.
“NCP Mk II, in effect, sees the UK remaining in the customs union in all but name. It would see the UK collect duties at our borders on imports at the rate of the European Union’s common customs tariff, making us, in effect, the EU’s tax collector without a say in its rules. On this 4th July, the famous rallying cry ‘No taxation without representation’ rings as true as ever.
“It would require alignment of product standards for goods and agricultural products, effectively replicating membership of the single market. This would see European laws and standards continuing indefinitely, along with a perpetual role for the European Court of Justice which would be completely at odds with the referendum result.
“We cannot deliver any of the economic benefits of Brexit without leaving the customs union cleanly and completely, freeing ourselves to forge our own trade relationships with friends and allies across the world and committing to the principles of free trade.
“The Conservative manifesto at the last General Election – which secured the most votes of any party since 1992 – was unambiguously clear: ‘As we leave the European Union, we will no longer be members of the single market or customs union.’ For the good of every citizen in the country, that promise must now be delivered.”