Philip Hammond refuses to rule out customs union with EU after Brexit


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Chancellor Philip Hammond has left open the possibility of Britain being part of a customs union with the EU after Brexit in a letter to parliament’s Treasury watchdog.

As the government prepares to shape details of how the UK’s transition period will be governed once the country’s EU membership ends, Hammond said the government would be guided by what deliverd the greatest economic advantage to the country.

During an exchange of letters, the chancellor gave the reply to the Treasury committee, chaired by the Conservative MP Nicky Morgan, which asked him whether he would like to “explicitly rule out the UK participating in a customs union with the EU as part of its end-state relationship”.

Morgan stated: “It was widely thought that being in a long-term customs union with the EU had been ruled out by the government. But the chancellor’s letter confirms that this is not the case…”

Prime Minister Theresa May has said the country will leave the existing EU customs union at that point, with Brexiteers demanding the move to allow Britain to negotiate new trade deals.