The UK government led by Theresa May has published a document of around 100 pages that lays the future of the relationship with the European Union after the planned exit from the EU on 29 March 2019.
The document mentions a “principled Brexit” meaning the respect for “the result of the referendum and the decision of the UK public to take back control of the UK’s laws, borders and money.”
“For the economy, developing a broad and deep economic relationship with the EU that maximizes future prosperity in line with the modern Industrial Strategy and minimizes disruption to trade between the UK and the EU, protecting jobs and livelihoods – at the same time making the most of trading opportunities around the world,” according to the document.
The Financial Times noted that the British PM proposed a softer Brexit, creating the framework for what Whitehall officials expect Brussels will call an “association agreement”— the type of deal struck by the EU with third countries including Ukraine and Georgia, and providing them with “privileged links” to the bloc.
The document also says the government is prepared to allow EU citizens to travel freely without a visa in the UK for tourism and temporary work and allow EU students to study in the UK.
The UK government is proposing the establishment of a “free trade area for goods” and would protect the integrated supply chains.
“These close arrangements on goods should sit alongside new ones for services and digital, giving the UK the freedom to chart its own path in the areas that matter most for its economy. The Government wants to minimise new barriers to trade between the UK and the EU, and hopes that both sides will work together to reduce them further over time – but acknowledges that there will be more barriers to the UK’s access to the EU market than is the case today,” according to the paper.
The government cites other international agreements to make a case for Brexit.
“For instance, the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement include an overarching institutional structure, while the North American Free Trade Agreement establishes a Free Trade Commission and provides for a system of international arbitration for disputes, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) trade in goods agreement is managed by an ASEAN Free Trade Area Council. The EU and Switzerland are also currently in negotiations over a new institutional framework agreement,” wrote the government.