Theresa May Splits Cabinet To Seek Brexit Solution

His critical comments came after the prime minister had made a plea for unity over Brexit, writing in The Sunday Times that she promised to deliver the outcome people voted for.

Her intervention comes after tensions in the cabinet exploded into the open last week as Boris Johnson launched an attack on the prime minister's preferred option for a post-Brexit EU customs partnership.

May, however, warned that there will "be compromises", but vowed that she "will not let you down".

Theresa May has split members of her warring cabinet into two working groups to thrash out the merits of her two customs proposals.

Under May's preferred customs partnership, the United Kingdom would collect tariffs on behalf of the European Union, but Johnson said he would back an alternative plan, based on untested tracking technology. "With NCP [new customs partnership], as Boris pointed out, because it's novel, because no model like this exists there have to be significant questions about the deliverability of it on time", he said.

They prefer the "maximum facilitation" model that relies on technology to minimise border checks, which critics say can not resolve the Irish border issue and would require lengthy development of sophisticated new technology.

Theresa May
GETTYMrs May led some of the meetings herself while others were led by senior aides

Assuming that tariff-free trade with the European Union continues after Brexit, the scheme could be a way of avoiding the reintroduction of customs checks.

He also admits the alternative proposal for a streamlined regime for checking goods based on the use of technology is not "absolutely perfect" either.

Mrs May has insisted the final Brexit deal must honour the agreements in the Northern Ireland peace process - and that there can be no hard border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. The EU has expressed doubts about whether either option would work. He dismissed the option to rely on technology.

Brexit Secretary David Davis is one of those vehemently opposed to the customs partnership idea, claiming it would be "Trojan horse for a customs union". Leader Jeremy Corbyn, a lifelong eurosceptic, has so far resisted calls to try to keep Britain in the bloc's single market, arguing that its rules would prevent him from fulfilling policy pledges including taking some businesses into state ownership.

Organised by the campaign group For our Future's Sake, the letter from 60 student unions says promises made by pro-Brexit groups have not been kept and that an estimated 1.4 million people were too young to vote in June 2016 but now deserve a say.

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