May 22, 2018 / 8:56 PM / 3 months ago

Johnson says Britain must ditch EU tariff rules quickly - Bloomberg

(Reuters) - Foreign secretary Boris Johnson said Britain must ditch the European Union’s tariff rules as quickly as possible, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson speaks during a news conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, May 22, 2018. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

Johnson said Britain should set its own tariffs and run its own trade policy, declining to comment on whether he would quit Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet if she failed to deliver those conditions.

A row over future customs arrangements with the EU is undermining May’s authority, having divided her government and all but stalled Brexit negotiations.

She said last week that Britain would leave the customs union, but a source told Reuters that London was considering a backstop plan that would apply the bloc’s external tariffs beyond December 2020.

"The prime minister is the custodian of the (Brexit) plan, which is to come out of the customs union, out of the single market and to get on with it... with all convenient speed," Johnson told Bloomberg in an interview.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, a Conservative lawmaker who is a staunch supporter of Brexit, earlier on Tuesday expressed doubts about May, saying in a podcast saying he wondered if the government really wanted to leave the EU at all.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; editing by John Stonestreet

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