UK's new Brexit strategy won't inhibit trade deals - minister

Marco Green
July 12, 2018

The Brexit minister David Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson resigned in protest at the Chequers plan, the latter declaring that the Brexit "dream" was dying and that what was in prospect was a "semi-Brexit", shackling the United Kingdom to European Union rules.

Other eurosceptics who want a clean break with the bloc are also livid, prompting speculation they may launch a confidence vote against May.

New Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has insisted that the much-anticipated Government white paper respects the referendum result while backing business.

Theresa May last night faced claims she shared her Brexit plan with Angela Merkel before revealing it to her Cabinet at Chequers.

The Tanaiste said the United Kingdom had now committed to a "sensible, soft Brexit". We need to rise to the challenge and grasp the opportunities'.

"It delivers on the vote that people gave on Brexit, it delivers the fact that we will have an end to free movement, we will have an end to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the United Kingdom, we won't be sending vast contributions to the EU every year, we'll be out of the Common Agricultural Policy, out of the Common Fisheries Policy", she said.

The government also envisages a common customs framework with the European Union, while allowing the United Kingdom to set its own trade tariffs - an idea critics say is too complex.

The European Court of Justice will no longer have jurisdiction in the United Kingdom but the United Kingdom courts will have to pay "due regard" to its rulings. The UK has spoken of boosting the Commonwealth and forging a free trade pact with India after Brexit, but that will not be easy if Britain refuses to budge from its tough position on movement of people and visas.

Other amendments would require the United Kingdom to have a separate Value-Added Tax regime from the EU and force the prime minister to table primary legislation if she wishes to keep Britain in the customs union.

"We deliver that Brexit and we do it in a way that protects jobs and livelihoods and meets our commitment to Northern Ireland", she said.

The four amendments to the customs bill were put down a day before Thursday's publication of a white paper policy document giving details of the prime minister's plans. "He can not compromise the workings of a shared customs union across the EU for everybody else", he said. "And we're going to be aligned to these rules in perpetuity".

The white paper will not be the final deal but is created to be a starting point for more negotiations.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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