Britain's Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union Dominic Raab, left, and European Chief Negotiator for the United Kingdom Exiting the EU Michel Barnier hold a press conference at the European Commission building in Brussels on Thursday, July 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)

EU negotiator rejects key element of UK govt Brexit plan

July 26, 2018 - 1:01 pm

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union's chief Brexit negotiator says the bloc never would allow a non-member to collect customs on its behalf, delivering a blow to the British government's post-Brexit plans.

Britain had proposed a system in which it would initially process EU customs duties on goods that come into the U.K. but are destined for another country.

The government presented the idea as part of its latest batch of proposals to untangle the blocked divorce negotiations between Britain and the EU.

EU negotiator Michel Barnier met with his British counterpart, Dominic Raab, on Thursday.

Barnier say afterward: "The EU cannot and the EU will not delegate the application of its customs policy and rules...to a non-member who would not be subject to the EU's governance structures."

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