The Tory Brexiteer suggested plans to resolve the Northern Irish border issue deadlocking the Brexit negotiations had been summarily dismissed in Brussels.
Mr Jenkin claimed the European Union had “refused to discuss” proposals to institute technological border checks away from the frontier because they would allegedly pose a “threat to the integrity of the single market.”
Speaking on BBC Any Questions?, the MP said: “The EU refuses to discuss it, probably for political reasons. We want to be able to reassure them that a friction-free border in Northern Ireland is not a threat to the integrity of the single market which is what they fear.
“This could be done. Every solution that we put forward in our paper is practised somewhere in the world. There are virtually drive-through borders in Switzerland, EU, Canada, United States.”
Mr Jenkin, a member of the influential European Research Group (ERG) chaired by Jacob Rees-Mogg, argued that some EU member states had already set a precedent in establishing checks away from the border.
He continued: “In the port of Rotterdam they check livestock coming into the EU but they don’t check in the port. They check it 20km away from the port.
“It’s not necessary to do the checks on the border and that’s what the whole argument is about. We could have a relatively frictionless border without any infrastructure on the border to attract all the difficulties.”
Theresa May has been facing mounting pressure from the ERG and other Brexiteers to “chuck” her latest Brexit blueprint as it would betray the demands of Leave voters to break all ties to EU institutions.
Mrs May put forward plans to institute a free trade area regulated through a “common rulebook” – a move some Leave voters have interpreted as a signal Britain will maintain at least partial alignment to the bloc
Following a meeting of the ERG in London, Mr Rees-Mogg said: ”I have long said, and repeated again and again, that the policy needs to be changed but I am supporting the person.
“Theresa May has enormous virtues, she is a fantastically dutiful Prime Minister and she has my support. I just want her to change one item of policy.”
The MP said he wanted Mrs May to scrap her “Chequers” plan for close customs links with the EU and press Brussels for a free trade deal instead.
A senior EU official closely involved in the Brexit talks said the risk of not striking a deal still looms, despite EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier saying he expects to get a deal in the next six to eight weeks.
But the anonymous official believes the difficulties faced by Mrs May to have her own party backing the Chequers plan could threaten the outcome of the negotiations.
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