French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday said a post-Brexit customs union between Britain and the European Union was possible but would rule out full access to the single market, making reference to the bloc’s relationship with Turkey.
Britain’s opposition Labour party on Monday argued that Britain should remain in a customs union with the EU, an option ruled out by Theresa May’s government.
Asked about the possibility of a UK-EU customs union during a press conference with his Norwegian counterpart in Paris, Macron said:
“It already exists, it’s the relationship the EU has with Turkey. So it’s an option, one with advantages and disadvantages, but it will not allow full access to the single market.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said he wanted no tariff on British trade with Europe.
During the news conference, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said the Norwegian model would be difficult to accept for the British, although it was in her view the best option for countries outside the EU.
Norway, which is not an EU member, is part of the single market but must in return accept EU regulations, freedom of movement and pay into the EU budget.
“It would be difficult for a country like Britain to accept a treaty like we have it,” she said, explaining this would entail accepting the single market’s demands for free movement for goods, services, capital and labour, as well as accepting rulings from the European Court of Justice.
“I would have been happy if they had. I think it’s the best thing if you’re not a member of the European Union, because it’s flexible.”
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Michel Rose and Richard Lough; Writing by Richard Lough, Editing by Ingrid Melander, William Maclean)