United Kingdom government moving forward as one on Brexit plans-PM May's spokesman

The UK government has insisted that Britain will leave the customs union, ahead of a symbolic vote in Parliament on Thursday, with pro-Brexit Tory MPs reportedly turning the pressure up on Prime Minister Theresa May.

Asked if the Prime Minister might shift her policy, Mr.

A Downing Street source told the BBC that the Government would stand firm on the issue whatever the outcome of the Commons vote, saying: "We will not be staying in the customs union, or joining a customs union".

But government minister Lord Keen said the charter only applies when directly implementing European Union law, and "after Brexit we will not be a member state and will not be directly implementing law".

After a week in which EU negotiators were said to have given a "systematic and forensic annihilation" of Theresa May's proposals for a new customs relationship to avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom government has sought to reassure pro-Brexit Tory MPs that the United Kingdom "will not be staying in the customs union or joining a customs union", according to a Downing Street source.

Arguing against the amendment, Lord (Richard) Keen said by retaining the charter, Britain would be opening up to being influenced by "foreign law" that could to lead to "constitutional outrage".

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May's inner circle thinks she could be forced to accept staying in the EU's customs union because Parliament will reject her plan to withdraw from it when the issue comes to a vote in the House of Commons, according to one official.

The customs union means the EU is a trade bloc with all the countries involved applying the same tariff on goods from outside coming in.

The main topic will be a discussion of the U.K.'s aims for worldwide trade after Brexit, according to the official, and will nearly certainly involve consideration of the customs deal the country will seek to reach with the bloc.

The battle over customs rules is likely to reach a climax in a Commons vote as early as next month.

Leaving the customs union would also mean mandatory customs checks for every lorry between the United Kingdom and EU until a free trade deal is struck with Brussels, potentially causing major delays, Sky News reports.

However, that outcome would make it "effectively impossible to negotiate free trade deals with other countries - one of the Government's key ambitions and a central justification for leaving the EU", says The Guardian. "It would also be a vote of disdain for the British people who voted to leave the European Union".