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UK eyeing customs union access, work visas for some sectors - report
January 8, 2017 / 4:24 AM / a year ago

UK eyeing customs union access, work visas for some sectors - report

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain is looking to secure privileged EU customs union access, work visas and tax breaks for certain sectors as part of a plan to protect key industries when it exits the European Union, the Sunday Times newspaper reported.

A Union flag flies next to the flag of the European Union in London, Britain, November 4, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Files

Prime Minister Theresa May has so far said very little about her negotiating position for Brexit but she is due to lay out her thinking in a speech this month.

Business leaders have called on May to avoid a ‘hard Brexit’ where the government prioritises immigration controls over access to the single market, and the Sunday Times said Downing Street was working on a plan to help ease disruption.

It said the government would fight to give key industries “privileged” access to the European customs union. It would also give work visas to help those companies reliant on foreign workers and would provide tax breaks and training as part of a new industrial strategy.

The newspaper, without citing sources, also said May would indicate to her European partners that she was prepared to walk away from the European market without a deal if it did not suit the country.

A spokeswoman for May’s office declined to comment on the report.

Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Diane Craft

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