The exit of the United Kingdom from the EU customs union may be delayed. According to the British newspaper The Telegraph on Thursday, the British government would like to negotiate with Brussels the possibility of remaining in the customs union until 2021.
However this has been denied by Prime Minister Theresa May.
The UK is planning to retain a customs partnership with the European Union for a limited period beyond the Brexit transition period ending in December 2020, an informed source said on Thursday.
This would occur in the case of a delay in the implementation of the divorce agreement between the United Kingdom and the EU.
The British government, said the source speaking on condition of anonymity, is trying to find an agreement with the EU that is acceptable by Britain without seeking an extension of the transition period.
Ongoing discussions are among the options the government is considering in the event that the ratification of the Brexit agreement is delayed or if problems appear in the implementation of new border control technologies with the Republic of Ireland.
On Wednesday, The Telegraph reported that the United Kingdom was preparing to inform the European Union that it was willing to stay in the customs union after 2021.
The UK government promised on Tuesday night that it would soon publish a document on its vision of relations with the EU after the Brexit, set for March 29, 2019.
Participating in the European summit in Sofia, Bulgaria, British Prime Minister Theresa May denied wanting to ask Brussels to maintain Britain in the customs union beyond the post-Brexit transition period.
The head of the government tries to spare on one side the most determined supporters of divorce and on the other some of his ministers who want to maintain the closest possible links with Europeans.