Map of Europe

The UK *is* leaving the customs union

Here's what that means

The UK will leave the customs union, Theresa May insisted this morning, ahead of a big vote on the issue.

What it means: Politicians in the House of Commons will vote this week about whether or not the UK should stay in its current customs union with Europe. Labour wants to leave the arrangement we've got now, but form a new one.

A customs union means countries agree to set the same taxes (or tariffs) on things they buy from outside. If the UK does stay in this one, or join a new one, it would make it more difficult to form new trading relationships with other countries post-Brexit, the government has said.

Liam Fox – he's the trade minister – says that a union-less UK would have more "economic agility"... which presumably means he thinks it'll just be easier for the UK to buddy up to whichever countries it wants, without having to agree with the rest of the union.

Recent articles

Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?