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LONDON: February 26, 2018. With Britain's Conservative government continuing its attempt to cherry-pick a future EU relationship, David Jinks, head of Consumer Research at UK express shipping company ParcelHero, says its time to clarify the difference between retaining a Customs Union with the EU and remaining in the Single Market:

"Signing up to a permanent Customs union means no new tariffs on UK- EU goods and ends the threat of new red tape and border delays.

"In a speech at Coventry University Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn said: 'we have long argued that a Customs union is a viable option for the final deal. So Labour would seek to negotiate a new comprehensive UK-EU Customs union to ensure that there are no tariffs with Europe and to help avoid any need for a hard border in Northern Ireland.'

"Without getting into party politics, as an international company that ships thousands of parcels a month to the European Union, we strongly support Britain remaining in a Customs union with the EU.'

"Membership of a Customs union means we will continue to share external tariffs with all EU member countries post Brexit – meaning no new tariffs and taxes between the UK and EU, and no border delays and complicated Customs Invoices just to send parcels and goods to France or Germany.

"Britain currently shares a common set of tariffs with EU on imports from outside the EU, for instance there is a 10 percent tariff on cars and a 2.7 percent duty on golf clubs from outside the Union. Continued membership of a Customs union with the EU will end the threat of new tariffs and taxes being imposed on UK exports to Europe and visa-versa.

"This means British goods won't suddenly become far more expensive and uncompetitive in Europe, and EU-manufactured products won't suddenly go up in price for British consumers.

"Signing up for a permanent Customs union is very different and less contentious than continued membership of the Single Market.

"A Customs union is not at all the same as the Single Market, which used to be known as the Common Market. While a Customs union is about what happens at the borders of the EU, the single market is about free movement of goods and services within the European Union.

"The Single Market applies not only to goods but also services, investments and people.

"It is the Single Market which requires the free movement of people within the European Union, to allow for the exchange of services such as plumbing. That is likely to be far more of an issue with Brexit voters than border tariffs.

"We hope that all sides come to realize that remaining within a Customs union with the EU doesn't go against the spirit of the vote in favor of Brexit and won't impact on discussions around immigration or remaining under EU legal jurisdiction."

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