Customs Union and Single Market Explained

by | Nov 26, 2018

With the EU agreeing Theresa May’s Brexit deal and Cabinet members and MPs rebelling against the ‘soft’ withdrawal agreement. The words ‘single customs union’ and ‘single market’ have come into the conversation again.

Below we explain the differences between the two:

 

Customs Union

In a single customs union within the EU, the member states have all agreed to charge the same import charge duties, and allow free trade between themselves. Additionally, customs checks and charges would be reduced.
 
This means the relationship between member states and the outside world has already been settled. So if the UK continues to remain in the customs union, it would restrict its ability to negotiate its own trade deals outside of the union.
 
The new potential trade deals would boost Britain’s economy after the post-Brexit slump, according to some critics of the agreement, and open the jobs market between other international partners.
 
However, the UK could face tariffs and other non-tariff barriers such as rules of origin checks.

 

Single Market

The UK exports 45% of its goods to the EU, and withdrawing could cause the UK to face tariffs or restrictions when it trades with the EU member states.

Within the market, goods, services and people are allowed to move freely from country to country.

Single market rules state that people from EU member countries can move freely between each member state.

 
However, the current withdrawal agreement proposes to put forward a tariffs system to accept people into the country. This would mean that the government wouldn’t be able to commit to the freedom of migration.
 
 
 
 
 

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