BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The EU has suggested that a backstop post-Brexit customs arrangement covering all of the UK could give mainland Britain some scope to set trade rules while keeping the province of Northern Ireland aligned with the EU, European diplomats and officials said on Friday.
Since a deal that included keeping all the United Kingdom inside EU customs rules was rejected by Prime Minister Theresa May on Oct. 14, negotiators have worked to narrow differences.
The key idea would be that Great Britain and Northern Ireland would remain a single customs territory under World Trade Organization rules, linked in a customs union with Ireland and the rest of the EU, diplomats told Reuters. However, the mainland could, if it wished, apply somewhat different rules without breaking the WTO regulations on international trade.
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