Latest Issue

Britain must totally withdraw from the customs union

A half-in, half-out arrangement is still being discussed—but this would be the worst of both worlds

By Henry Newman  

We learned over the weekend that Whitehall officials are examining the Sweden-Norway border. Why? Well, Norway is outside of the EU’s Customs Union but trades freely with Sweden, which is inside it. With the clever use of technology and reciprocal agreements, the need for physical checks there on cross-border goods traffic is largely obviated.

Last week Open Europe published a report, Nothing to Declare, arguing that the UK should leave the customs union. We highlighted the example of the Norwegian-Swedish border, but also other borders such as the Swiss-EU and Canadian-US. Our…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect