Eu: Future Relationship White Paper

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:47 pm on 12th July 2018.

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Photo of Dominic Raab Dominic Raab The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 12:47 pm, 12th July 2018

With permission, Mr Speaker, I will make a statement about the UK’s future relationship with the European Union.

I pay tribute both to my right hon. Friend Mr Davis for his Herculean efforts and to my hon. Friend Mr Baker and the wider Department for Exiting the EU team for getting us to this point in both the negotiations and the successful passage of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill through Parliament. It is a striking achievement. My right hon. Friend is a loss to Government, but I suspect, with the mildest apprehension, a considerable gain to this House.

Today, we publish the Government’s White Paper on the UK’s future relationship with the EU. It is a new and detailed proposal for a principled, pragmatic and ambitious future partnership between the UK and the EU in line with the policy agreed at Chequers last week. I have now placed a copy of the White Paper in the Libraries of both Houses.

Let me briefly set out the key proposals. The Government are determined to build a new relationship that works both for the UK and the EU: one that is grounded in our shared history, but which also looks to a bright and ambitious future; and a relationship that delivers real and lasting benefits to both sides.

First, the White Paper confirms that the UK will leave the European Union on 29 March 2019, forging a new way in the world, outside the single market and outside the customs union. It safeguards the constitutional and economic integrity of the UK. It reclaims the UK’s sovereignty and it protects our economic interests by minimising the risk of any disruption to trade. It delivers on the instruction that we received loud and clear from the British people to take back control over our laws, our borders and our money.

In delivering on this vision, the Government propose an innovative and unprecedented economic partnership based on open and free trade, maintaining frictionless trade through a new UK-EU free trade area for goods, underpinned by an ongoing common rulebook covering only those rules necessary to provide for frictionless trade at the border. This will support business and meet our shared commitments to Northern Ireland and Ireland, avoiding reliance on the so-called backstop solution. A key component of this will be our proposal for a facilitated customs arrangement—a business-friendly model that removes the need for a new routine customs check and controls between the UK and the EU, while enabling the UK to control its own tariffs to boost trade with the rest of the world. We want a deep and comprehensive deal on services, based on the principles of international trade. Our approach minimises new barriers to service provision, allowing UK firms to establish in the EU and vice versa, and provides for mutual recognition of professional qualifications.

On financial services, we propose a new economic and regulatory approach with the EU that will preserve the mutual benefits of our uniquely integrated markets, while protecting financial stability and, critically, the autonomy of our own rule making. Crucially, our proposals on services provide the UK with regulatory flexibility in the sector, including our dynamic, innovative and digital sectors, which will in turn open up new possibilities in relation to trade with the wider world.

As we leave the EU, free movement of people will come to an end. We will control the number of people who come to our country. We will assert stronger security checks at the border. [Interruption.]