A history of the European Customs Union
Let's start with the origins of the Customs Union. This animation from 1968 explains the beginings of a scheme to allow goods and services to flow across national borders:
The Customs Union today
Admittedly, that attempt to explain a complex idea in a simple way for a multilingual audience might have wound up making things a little less clear that they were before. Instead, then, let's turn to the BBC Newsnight correspondent Chris Cooke for a slightly clearer explanation:
Would keeping in the Customs Union mean 'frictionless' trade?
If the UK decided to seek a new customs agreement with the EU, would that ensure that businesses in Brighton could trade with Britanny as easily as they do now? Not really - as this University of Sussex video shows:
Just how big is the Customs Union?
This European Commission video shows exactly how much economic activity is taking place across the Customs Union every minute - something which the Commission says "convincingly illustrate[s the Union's] importance to modern Europe". Which is one opinion...
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