A plan in the making?

Jul 09, 2018

Following a 12 hour meeting last Friday in Chequers, the UK cabinet have agreed on the basis of the UK’s future relationship with the EU after Brexit.  According to the three page statement from the UK government following the meeting, the proposals were a “substantial evolution” in the UK’s Brexit position and would solve the issue of avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland.

A White Paper is reportedly due this week setting out the proposals in detail but in summary, the main features of the UK’s proposals are as follows:

  • The UK would accept continuing harmonisation with EU rules for goods, including agri-food, and these rules would cover those necessary to ensure frictionless trade
  • A news “facilitated customs arrangement” which would remove the need for customs controls and checks between the UK and the EU could be put in place. This would mean that the UK would apply UK tariffs for goods intended for the UK and EU tariffs for goods intended for the EU
  • The UK could control its own tariffs for trade with rest of the world and be able to operate an independent trade policy
  • Different arrangements would be sought for services, including financial products with “regulatory flexibility”
  • Freedom of movement of people as it currently stands would cease and instead a “mobility framework” would ensure that UK and EU citizens could still travel to each other’s territories and apply to work and study
  • The European Court of Justice would no longer have jurisdiction in the UK and instead the UK will have regard to its decisions in areas where common rules were in force
  • The UK would leave the Common Agricultural Policy (but have a common rule book on agri-food) and the Common Fisheries Policy
  • The UK would cease to make “vast” annual payments to the EU budget with “appropriate contributions for joint action in specific areas such as science and innovation”.