Theresa May promises to 'deliver the Brexit people voted for'

European Union logo as a euro sign

Is the PM about to back down on the Cabinet argument over a post-Brexit customs deal?

The Prime Minister needs to go on the rhetorical offensive.

Brexiteers such as Boris Johnson are against Mrs May's preferred option of a "customs partnership", which is backed by Remain-voting ministers. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson branded the proposal "crazy" this week, saying in a Daily Mail interview that it amounted to "not taking back of your trade policy, not taking back control of your laws, not taking back control of your borders".

Mrs May is understood to favour the arrangement, under which the United Kingdom would collect customs tariffs on behalf of the European Union, as a means of breaking the deadlock in Brexit talks on the future of the Irish border.

Mrs May said she had proposed different options for a new customs arrangement but set out three make-or-break tests for the new settlement to pass.

The Tory MP, who is also chair of the Treasury Select Committee, also criticised the other proposal being put forward, and said: "It seems to me that's what's called the maximum facilitation - which seems to rely on future technology not yet invented - would absolutely basically be a deal in name only because it doesn't talk about an enduring relationship with the European Union, which I think is what the Prime Minister said she wanted to create, and it causes enormous problems on the island of Ireland".

Gove, along with Brexit Secretary David Davis and Foreign Secretary Liam Fox, has already reportedly pressured the prime minister into siding with their "max-fac" customs proposal rather than the customs partnership model she had originally supported.

The EU has expressed doubts about whether either option would work.

"This means there can be no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, or between Northern Ireland and the rest of the U.K.", May wrote.

The Brexit "war cabinet" blocked the customs partnership at a crunch meeting last week.

Theresa May has extended her party's lead over Jeremy Corbyn to five points, according to a poll. The Lib Dems were up 2 per cent at 9 per cent.

The main opposition Labour Party called May 13 for parliament to be given the chance to vote on a customs union.

But two senior Labour lawmakers, including one member of the shadow cabinet, have said privately they believed there was room for Corbyn's position to shift.

He will now be asked to work with Mr Davis to address his concerns that even streamlined customs checks could cost jobs in sectors such as the vehicle industry, where parts criss-cross the Channel multiple times. The "max-fac" idea seeks to minimise (but not eliminate) the friction on the border through as-yet undefined technologies.

Meanwhile, ministers were yesterday accused of delaying vital Brexit legislation after Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom confirmed the EU Withdrawal Bill would not be brought back to the Commons in the next fortnight.

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