Confirmed: UK to publish key Brexit papers this week

Elias Hubbard
August 13, 2017

"We've been crystal clear that issues around our withdrawal and our future partnership are inextricably linked, and the negotiations so far have reinforced that view", a source in Britain's Brexit department said.

Hammond had previously angered pro-Brexit colleagues and some voters by raising the prospect of an exit deal that saw little immediate change on issues such as immigration when Britain leaves in March 2019, and which could last until 2022.

Among the first to be published will be three papers that lay ground for the next round of negotiations in Brussels at the end of August, including one that sets out the U.K.'s plan for the post-Brexit border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Brexit Secretary David Davis is to hold a third round of talks with the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, in Brussels at the end of the month.

"These papers show we are ready to broaden out the negotiations", the source said.

Mr Barnier has maintained that negotiators must make progress on the rights of European Union and British citizens, the border with Ireland and Britain's exit payment before discussing a trade deal, while the prime minister Theresa May wants an accord before leaving.

Among the details is one covering the hard issue of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland once Britain leaves the EU.

Britain will also offer to track goods being moved in vehicles across the Irish border with CCTV cameras and automated number plate technology as part of a light touch customs regime.

The report, which cited an unnamed source in the Brexit department, said that Irish citizens would be able to work freely in the United Kingdom, and British citizens would work freely in Ireland.

A second batch of papers, to be released in the run-up to the October meeting of the European Council in Brussels, will look at "future partnership" arrangements between the United Kingdom and the EU, including the UK's proposals for a new customs arrangement with the bloc.

The UK is now due to leave the European Union at the end of March 2019 after almost 52 percent of Britons opted to leave the bloc during the European Union referendum in June previous year. The first will be a proposal for new customs arrangements.

"That means businesses need to have confidence that there will not be a cliff-edge when we leave the European Union in just over 20 months' time", they wrote.

Writing in the Observer newspaper Miliband, foreign minister under a Labour government between 2007 and 2010, called Brexit an "unparalleled act of economic self-harm" and said there should be another public vote once the final terms of Britain's exit are known.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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