(30/01/2019) Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has revived his proposal for a customs union in a meeting with Theresa May, while UK’s Trade Union Congress is pushing for a dynamic alignment on labour standards.
A customs union holds less guarantees for an environmental level playing field compared to the rejected Withdrawal Agreement. Taking the example of Turkey’s customs union and the proposals for its modernisation (similar to CETA provisions), one could expect rather weak environmental provisions: ratification and implementation of Multilateral Environmental Agreements, and a commitment to a high level of environmental protection, but with uncertain procedures for effective implementation. The backstop was a customs union as well, but with a non-regression clause for the whole UK and more specific environmental legislation requirements for the Northern Ireland. These environmental guarantees would then be the base for a future trade relationship negotiation, according to EU officials.
Commission staff working document on the modernisation of the customs union with Turkey
Draft Withdrawal Agreement