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Thursday September 20th, 2018 7:37AM

The Latest: Trump says May's plan wrecks Brexit, US deals

By The Associated Press
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LONDON (AP) — The Latest on Britain's departure from the European Union (all times local):

11:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump has accused British Prime Minister Theresa May of ruining what her country stands to gain from Brexit and says her "soft" blueprint for the U.K.'s future dealings with the European Union would probably "kill" any future trade deals with the United States.

Trump told The Sun newspaper during his first visit to the U.K. as president on Thursday that, "If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the U.K., so it will probably kill the deal".

Trump, who has compared the June 2016 referendum in which a majority of British voters supported leaving the EU to his own election that year, said: "The deal she is striking is a much different deal than the one the people voted on."

He also told the tabloid that he has shared advice with May during Britain's negotiations with the EU, but says May ignored his advice.

Details from Trump's interview with the paper became public as he was attending a black tie dinner with May to welcome him to Britain.

___

2:55 p.m.

The turmoil in Prime Minister Theresa May's government over Brexit has been noticed by U.S. President Donald Trump as he begins a four-day visit to Britain.

Trump did not exactly give a ringing endorsement to plans May's government published Thursday that spell out how the U.K. wants to handle customs and trade with the European Union once it leaves the bloc.

The long-awaited document proposes keeping Britain and the EU in a free market for goods, with a more distant relationship for services.

The U.S. leader said at a NATO summit in Brussels that it seemed as if the U.K. was "getting at least partially involved back with the European Union."

Trump said: "I don't know if that is what they voted for," referring to the 2016 referendum in which a majority of Britons voted to part ways with the EU.

May insisted her plan was exactly what voters expected from the referendum.

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1:55 p.m.

The plans laid out in a 98-page government paper give Britain's most detailed answer yet to the question of what it wants to replace the European Union's single market and customs union after Brexit.

Under the plans, Britain would stick to a "common rulebook" with the EU for goods and agricultural products in return for free trade, without tariffs or border customs checks. That would avoid disruption to automakers and other manufacturers who source parts from multiple countries.

The government said Britain would act "as if in a combined customs territory" with the EU, using technology at its border to determine whether goods from third countries are bound for Britain or the EU, and then charging the appropriate tariffs.

Britain says that will solve the problem of maintaining an open border between Northern Ireland, which is part of the U.K., and EU member Ireland.

It's unclear, though, how long it would take to phase in the new customs arrangements. Britain and the EU have agreed on a transition period until December.

___

1:05 p.m.

The British government has released proposals for what it calls a "principled, pragmatic and ambitious" Brexit — plans that have already triggered the resignation of two top ministers and face likely resistance from the European Union.

The long-awaited document published Thursday aims to keep Britain and the bloc in a free market for goods, with a looser relationship for services.

But the plan has infuriated fervent Brexit supporters in Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party, who think it would limit Britain's ability to strike new trade deals around the world. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Brexit Secretary David Davis both quit the government this week in protest.

Newly appointed Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said the plans called for an "innovative and unprecedented economic partnership" between Britain and the EU.

The British government released detailed plans Thursday for what it called a "principled pragmatic and ambitious" Brexit — plans that already triggered the resignation of two top ministers and split the governing Conservative Party, and which face likely resistance from the European Union.

The long-awaited document proposes keeping Britain and the EU in a free market for goods, with a more distant relationship for services.

Prime Minister Theresa May's government is trying to satisfy Britons who voted for their country to leave the bloc, but to set an independent course without hobbling businesses, security agencies and other sectors that are closely entwined with the EU.

But the plan has infuriated fervent Brexit supporters, who think it would limit Britain's ability to strike new trade deals around the world. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Brexit Secretary David Davis both quit the government this week in protest.

The turmoil in May's government over Brexit has erupted as U.S. President Donald Trump began a four-day visit to Britain Thursday and nine months before the U.K.'s departure from the EU.

Trump did not exactly give May's plans a ringing endorsement. The U.S. leader said at a NATO summit in Brussels that it seemed as if the U.K. was "getting at least partially involved back with the European Union."

"I don't know if that is what they voted for," he said.

May insisted her plan was exactly what Britons had voted for in a 2016 EU membership referendum.

"They voted for us to take back control of our money, our law and our borders," she said. "That is exactly what we will do."

Newly appointed Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said the plans called for an "innovative and unprecedented economic partnership" between Britain and the EU.

Britain is currently part of the EU's single market — which allows for the frictionless flow of goods and services among the 28 member states — and its tariff-free customs union for goods. That will end after the U.K. leaves the bloc in March. The plans laid out Thursday in a 98-page government paper give Britain's most detailed answer yet to the question of what will replace them.

Under the blueprint, Britain would stick to a "common rulebook" with the EU for goods and agricultural products in return for free trade, without tariffs or border customs checks. Such a resolution would avoid disruption to automakers and other manufacturers that source parts from multiple countries.

The government said Britain would act "as if in a combined customs territory" with the EU, using technology at its border to determine whether goods from third countries were bound for Britain or the EU, and charging the appropriate tariffs in those cases.

Britain says that will solve the problem of maintaining an open border between Northern Ireland, which is part of the U.K., and EU member Ireland.

Free trade would not apply to services, which account for 80 percent of the British economy. The government said that would give Britain "freedom to chart our own path," though it would mean less access to EU markets than there is now.

The plan also seeks to keep Britain in major EU agencies, including the European Aviation Safety Agency, the European Medicines Agency and the police agency Europol.

When the U.K. leaves the EU, it will end the automatic right of EU citizens to live and work in Britain. But Britain said EU nationals should be able to travel visa-free to Britain for tourism or "temporary business," and there should be measures allowing young people and students to work and study in Britain.

Other elements likely to anger Brexit-backers are Britain's willingness to pay the EU for access to certain agencies and the suggestion some EU citizens could continue to work in Britain visa-free.

And while Britain will no longer fall under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice — a longtime bugbear of Brexit supporters — British courts would "pay due regard" to European court case law in relevant cases under the proposals.

Pro-Brexit Conservative lawmaker Jacob Rees-Mogg colorfully described the plan as "the greatest vassalage since King John paid homage to Phillip II at Le Goulet in 1200."

Pro-EU lawmakers, in contrast, think the proposed post-Brexit ties with the bloc are not close enough.

The proposals also may fall foul of the EU's insistence that the U.K cannot "cherry pick" the benefits of EU membership, such as access to the single market, without accepting the responsibilities, including free movement.

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier has warned Britain the bloc won't let its single market be treated like a "big supermarket."

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP World News, AP Business, AP Business - Economy
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