Here's the Price U.K. May Pay for Brexit Customs Deal

(Bloomberg) -- Britain is understood to be seeking a U.K.-wide customs deal with the European Union to help avoid the return of a border in Ireland after Brexit. Theresa May is likely to pay a steep price to clinch such an agreement.

“EU doubters, including France, will demand that the U.K. signs up to a level playing field on environmental, social and labor regulation in return for the customs deal.” Mujtaba Rahman, managing director at Eurasia Group, said in a note on Monday.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has already hinted that the EU will seek a common playing pitch in return for a deal on customs, as talks go on in an effort to break the deadlock over the U.K. terms of departure from the bloc.

Rahman also said:

  • Some senior Conservatives now believe the cabinet, rather than parliament, represent May’s biggest obstacle
  • May’s allies are increasingly optimistic she will win a majority for the emerging deal
  • May could be rescued by about 15 Labour lawmakers who do not want to be seen as trying to frustrate Brexit and are nervous about risking a no-deal exit

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