LONDON — British lawmakers long at loggerheads over the path to withdrawing from the European Union actually came close to agreeing on something Monday: a solution known as a “customs union.” What is it? Simply put, it would entail Britain’s agreeing to stay permanently in a customs union with the bloc — a “soft Brexit,” of sorts. What is a customs union? The customs union being proposed in Parliament by a former Tory chancellor, Ken Clarke, would keep the United Kingdom in the same tariff system as the rest of the European Union countries. A customs union would help businesses that send goods back and forth to the Continent, so it would be of most interest to Britain’s manufacturers, particularly the automobile industry. But some smaller businesses might also benefit. What Is Brexit? A Simple Guide to Why It Matters and What Happens Next The basics of Brexit, the troubled plan for Britain to quit the European Union. And it might also ease complication of the much-hated Irish backstop plan, which is intended to eliminate the need for hard border checks between Northern Ireland and the south. Sounds good. What’s the hitch? While a customs union would allow goods to… Read full this story
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