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EU ready to negotiate customs union with UK, says Michel Barnier

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar (R) and EU Brexit chief negotiator Michel Barnier take part in a joint press conference in Dublin on April 8, 2019. | Paul Faith/AFP via Getty Images

EU ready to negotiate customs union with UK, says Michel Barnier

EU’s chief Brexit negotiator says the bloc could ‘quickly’ amend the declaration on the future relationship with the UK.

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4/8/19, 6:39 PM CET

Updated 4/8/19, 10:14 PM CET

The EU is ready to discuss a post-Brexit customs union with the United Kingdom, the bloc’s chief negotiator, Michael Barnier, said Monday.

Barnier was in Dublin to meet with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar ahead of a crucial summit on Wednesday in Brussels, where EU27 leaders will consider a further delay to the U.K.’s departure deadline.

Appearing with Varadkar after their meeting, Barnier told reporters that if talks between U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May and opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn yield an agreement to seek a customs union with the EU, Brussels is ready to work “quickly” toward that goal.

“We all hope that these talks will produce a positive outcome,” Barnier said on the cross-party discussions currently underway in London.

“I have said many times before that we can be more — much more —ambitious in our future relationship with the U.K. The Political Declaration provides for a range of outcomes including a customs union. We are ready to make this clear if it helps and this work can be done extremely quickly,” he continued.

Some EU leaders,

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