The Prime Minister visited the Austrian chancellor on Friday to discuss Brexit arrangements before her one week holiday.
Theresa May is to attend a festival in Salzburg as a guest of Sebastian Kurz, the chancellor of Austria.
She has held talks with Sebastian Kurz and the Prime Minister of Czech Republic Andrej Babis, in order to gain support for her Brexit proposals to the EU.
May’s trip to Austria was in pursuance of promoting her plan to other European leaders. It was one of many attempts by the British government to promote their customs plan for Brexit. Newly appointed Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has been to Berlin to discuss Brexit on Monday and the chancellor, home secretary and minister for the Cabinet Office have also planned to meet their counterparts in Europe throughout the summer as well.
However, the EU chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, has rejects a key component of Mrs May’s plan. He had already rejected her customs arrangement which in turn, disposed of her Chequer’s plan.
The UK believes that it could have a set deal by October, by which time 5 months will be left until the UK’s official leave date from the EU in March 2019.
After Theresa May’s talks in Austria, she plans to attend a World War One memorial in Switzerland and then to go on holiday with her husband to Italy for a week before resuming her work in the UK.
On Thursday, Michel Barnier held a joint press conference with Brexit secretary Dominic Raab in Brussels where he stated:
“Maintaining control of our money, law and borders also applies to the EU customs policy. The EU cannot and will not delegate the application of its customs policy and rules, VAT and duty collection to a non-member who would not be subject to the EU governance structures. Any customs arrangements or customs union – and I have always said that the EU is open to a customs union – must respect this principle.”
Dominic Raab stated:
“We have designed our proposals both to respect the result of the referendum, and the core principles of the EU. We have considered the innovative approaches the EU has taken in the past with other third countries – when the political will has been there.”