Greg Clark, the Business Secretary, has warned that thousands of jobs in the United Kingdom could be put at risk if there is no customs partnership that will be established between the United Kingdom and the European Union before the upcoming Brexit in March of next year.
Taking on the Andrew Marr Show on BBC, the minister said that as much as 3,500 jobs at Toyota will be put at risk if ever there are no customs arrangement that can be reached.
However, the minister insisted that the United Kingdom will leave the Customs Union in 2019.
Tensions in the Cabinet have been heightening over the suggested customs solution, with ministers including Sajid Javid and Gavin Williamson rebelling against Theresa May, the British Prime Minister.
Earlier this week, Brexiters compelled the Prime Minister to drop the “undeliverable” plans for customs partnership. However, today, Clark said that the idea was still on the table.
The director-general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Carolyn Fairbairn, welcomed the comments of Clark, saying that hundreds of thousands of jobs in the United Kingdom are dependent on the “frictionless trade with the European Union.”
She stated: “This is a time for pragmatic solutions, not ideology.”
“To protect frictionless trade and ensure no return to a hard border on the island of Ireland, a customs union model based on status quo principles should remain in place unless and until an alternative is ready and workable.”