China's top diplomat to visit Britain amid Brexit uncertainty
Dec 19 2016 by Johnny Bowman
Barnier has insisted that a two-year transitional deal, during which time Britain would remain in the European Union, continuing single-market access, would be sufficient in preventing businesses from going under or taking their deals elsewhere.
Dr Fox insisted Brexit was not like a "boiled egg" and there were more options than going for either a hard or soft withdrawal from the EU.
Critically being in the customs union would force Brexit Britain to accept EU tariffs on any trade deals struck with other a country outside the bloc.
Sir Andrew Cahn, ex-chief executive of UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), expressed doubts about Britain being allowed to keep sectors like auto manufacturing in the customs union after leaving the EU, while pulling others out.
Dr Fox, the worldwide trade secretary, said: "We want to look at all the different things, it's not binary".
Dr Fox added: 'The Government will come to a collective view on this once we have looked at all the issues.
He did admit that a deal retaining some degree of customs union access would result in "limitations on what we could do on tariff settings" and added "what we need to do before we make final decisions is to look at the costs".
He said: "The UK wouldn't want to put a lot of obstacles in the way to Australia, and we certainly wouldn't want to put a lot of obstacles in the way to British exports".
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"Would that be legal under the WTO (World Trade Organisation), I doubt, even if we got away with it I don't think the European Union side would be prepared to do it - why would they allow us to cherry-pick?"