What would retaining membership of the EU customs union mean for the UK? 

If the UK retains membership of the EU customs union following its departure from the EU, British goods will not be subject to tariffs when they enter the EU. Further, British goods will be able to move freely across the Union without undergoing checks to show that goods qualify as having originated in the UK. Setting external tariffs will remain exclusive competence of the EU. This means the UK will continue to benefit from the free trade agreements already struck by the EU, as well as any future ones. However, it would be unable to enter into its own trade deals with third countries.

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