United Kingdom calls for close economic ties in Brexit white paper

Blanche Robertson
July 16, 2018

Following the Prime Minister's meeting with President Donald Trump at Chequers, Dr Fox said "very positive" discussions had been taking place with USA officials on a future deal after Britain has left the EU.

Though the document says that the government will end free movement of people between the European Union and Britain after December 2020, when the transition ends, it also acknowledges that it will be necessary to recognise the "depth of the relationship and close ties between the peoples of the United Kingdom and the EU".

Britain and the European Union would maintain a "common rulebook for goods including agri-food", with London agreeing in a treaty to "ongoing harmonisation" only with those European Union rules necessary to reduce friction at the border.

It says the plan would smooth trade in agricultural, food and fisheries products, and protect integrated supply chains and just-in-time processes that are vital to, for example, the automotive industry.

She thrashed out an agreement at her country residence on Friday only for two of her leading ministers to quit in protest at her plan to keep close trade ties. We would be able to offer much freer market access than the European Union would. That therefore removes the need for inspection at the border.

The document revealed this week reads that the government has given up on the idea of a bilateral deal based on "mutual recognition" and will instead pursue plans for British banks, insurance brokers an asset managers to access the single market through rules of "equivalence".

Theresa May's long-awaited plan for Britain's future relationship with the European Union has met immediate resistance from Brexiteers in her own party, with Jacob Rees-Mogg declaring that it failed to respect the result of the 2016 referendum.

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"What we've heard so far from other leaders and from Brussels is actually a positive response that this is a proposal that we can sit down and start increasing the pace of the negotiations", May said.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiatior, Michel Barnier, said he would analyse the white paper.

"We now need to think about the well-being of people across Europe, about their prosperity, their jobs, their security, and not about the abstractions of the bureaucrats of Brussels".

"That is really where the preparations are centred on, ports and airports that deal with trade from the United Kingdom". "That's the key trade-off that we have got to deal with", he told the Today programme. If we don't want to do that, clearly we have got more scope to do trade deals internationally.

Many banks and insurers have, nevertheless, already scaled back their expectations of continued full access to the European Union market after Brexit and started opening new hubs in continental Europe. You can't really have it both ways.

"I don't think it provides a solution to Brexit but I think it is something that can provide an input into the negotiations".

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