Irish PM says Brexit agreement at risk if UK and EU don’t make ‘substantial progress’ by June – Politics live

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As Sky’s Faisal Islam points out, at the Downing Street lobby briefing the prime minister’s spokesperson did not entirely knock down the Telegraph/Politico Europe Brexit customs story. (See 9.24am.)

Number 10 repeatedly asked if the UK will be subject to the EU’s Common External Tarrif after end of transition period – answers repeatedly that we are leaving the Customs Union

Number 10 repeats the PM’s words that we will be free to implement trade deals after end 2020 – I pointed out that Turkey is free to implement trade deals at the moment, but those are constrained by the common tariff

And here’s a blog on the possibility of customs union membership being extended from the BBC’s political editor, Laura Kuenssberg. And here’s an extract.

No 10 is strikingly adamant that their goal is making one of their plans work so that the backstop is not required and, importantly, the PM can avoid a huge hit to her political credibility.

She has said more times than I can remember that the UK is leaving the customs union and won’t be in “a” customs union.

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