Isabel Hardman

Number 10’s new customs plan doesn’t fully exist, sources insist

Number 10's new customs plan doesn't fully exist, sources insist
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Has Theresa May finally cracked the customs arrangements problem? The Prime Minister needs to get sign-off from her Cabinet on Britain's future relationship with Europe at this week's Chequers summit, and it was briefed overnight that there was now a third option on the table, separate to the customs partnership or the maximum facilitation plan.

But this option turned out not to be on the Cabinet table yet, with David Davis and other key ministers finding themselves as in the dark as the rest of us on the matter this morning. I understand that they still haven't been told what this new model is, but this is largely because the model hasn't yet been firmed up.

Davis did, I'm told, hold a meeting in Number 10 today to discuss the options for the Chequers summit, but sources close to the Brexit Secretary insist that a third model is still a work in progress. Those in Number 10, though, seem rather more confident that there is a model ready to be presented. Still, it's better that the Brexit Secretary and the Prime Minister are actually talking on this matter: otherwise the Chequers summit could descend into a row pretty quickly.