July 2, 2018 / 5:46 PM / in 4 months

UK PM May wants future customs relationship with EU by end of 2020

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May attends a press conference with Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg at 10 Downing Street, in London, Britain, June 21, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Monday she wanted a future customs relationship with the European Union in place by the end of 2020 so that a backstop arrangement for the border between the north and south of Ireland would not be required.

Ahead of a meeting of UK ministers later this week a report said officials had drafted a new option for how to handle customs with the European Union.

“I am very clear that we should be doing everything that we can to ensure that at the end of December 2020 we are able to see our future customs relationship in place such that that backstop is not necessary,” she told Parliament.

May also reiterated that keeping Britain in the European Economic Area after Brexit was not an option being considered by the government.

Reporting by James Davey; editing by Andrew Roche

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