United Kingdom government plans 'detailed, ambitious' Brexit white paper next month

17 May, 2018, 01:32 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Brexit - UK seeking previously unthought of 'third way' around the Northern Ireland customs border impasse

White papers are policy documents produced by the government that set out proposals for future legislation.

It came after Theresa May's Brexit "war cabinet" met again on Tuesday without reaching agreement on which of the two options for customs arrangements on the Irish border, the so-called "customs partnership" and "maximum facilitation" models, it will back. Downing Street did not dispute the report yesterday.

The lack of decision has also spurred calls for Britain to stay in the, or a, customs union with the bloc, a move its supporters say could prevent the return of a new, hard border with EU member Ireland that could fuel sectarian violence.

He said: "It will communicate our ambition for the UK's future relationship with the European Union, in the context of our vision for the UK's future role in the world".

The customs partnership scheme, believed to be favoured by the prime minister, would see the United Kingdom collect European Union tariffs for goods coming into Britain on behalf of Brussels. Under a second idea, for a streamlined customs arrangement, traders on an approved list would be able to cross borders freely with the aid of automated technology.

But EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier is reported to have told a Brussels meeting that it was not worth fighting about the two United Kingdom proposals, as neither of them is "realistic".

To complicate matters further, Davis has reportedly told May her favored model would be illegal under global law.

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Prime Minister Theresa May will publish a detailed plan for the U.K.'s post-Brexit relationship with Europe next month, setting a deadline for her warring Cabinet to agree on a common stance. The newspaper said the attorney general's office will give the prime minister a direct legal opinion on the matter before a final decision is made.

The British Labour party has tabled a motion in the Commons for debate today created to break the "deadlock".

Labour will hope to complicate her government's talks on customs by trying to force a vote in parliament for the release of the documents May's cabinet are considering to try to boil down two current proposals to a single option.

However, Paul Blomfield, the shadow Brexit minister, said the party was "ruling nothing off the table".

As well as customs, the white paper will cover the future security relationship, the financial services sector, aviation and fisheries.

'Today's failure highlights the deep division at the heart of Government on the most basic of issues.

'However, ministers have wasted months arguing amongst themselves rather than negotiating in the national interest.

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