As the Guardian reported last night:
In order to avoid border checks, Britain is also seeking a “facilitated customs arrangement”. The UK could control its own tariffs to allow it to pursue an independent trade policy, but its customs officials would collect and pass on the higher EU tariff to Brussels for goods passing through the UK en route to the continent
The EU is not amused, as the Guardian also noted:
Barnier said of the UK’s customs proposals: “We cannot relinquish control of our external borders and the revenue there to a third country – that’s not legal.
“By the way, infringement proceedings against London are ongoing because, according to the commission, Chinese textile imports have not been properly cleared.
“Moreover, the British proposal is not practical. It is impossible to tell exactly where a product ends up, on the UK market or in the internal market. For example, sugar is transported by the tonne in 25-kilo sacks, so you cannot trace every sack to its destination. That would only be possible with insane and unjustifiable bureaucracy. Therefore, the British proposal would be an invitation to fraud if implemented.”
And he is right. But it's worse than that. Not only is it an invitation to fraud, but as I have noted in an FoI I published this morning, the UK admits it has no Customs officers in ports to monitor these issues at its ports, at all. Of course no one is going to take any suggestion we take seriously when we literally have no arrangments in hand to check current flows through the UK. The EU would be quite literally mad to do so.
The UK may say it's the Chequers deal or bust, but candidly it's bust in that case. That deal was never even near worth considering in reality. And the question has to be asked, why are Tory politicians so daft that they could ever have thought it plausible when it so patently was not?
To argue that people in this country are not entitled to a second opinion on this issue when those supposedly leading the country are managing negotiations so badly is the biggest affront to democracy there is. And that fact that this is also denied by Downing Street is probably all the proof that is needed to suggest that those saying so are right.