My Lords, negotiations on the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from, and future relationship with, the European Union continue at pace. The publication last week of the Government’s White Paper on the future relationship—a detailed and credible proposal—has given impetus to these negotiations.
Last month we published a joint statement that set out the substantial progress that we have made on the draft withdrawal agreement since the March European Council. We have reached agreement across the majority of the remaining separation issues. Last week my right honourable friend the Secretary of State travelled to Brussels to meet his counterpart, Michel Barnier, where they had constructive discussions on the details of the White Paper and took stock of the negotiations. While there are still issues to agree, our negotiating teams are working to ensure that these are finalised by October and that we reach a positive settlement for both the UK and the EU.
Domestically, we continue to prepare the legislation needed to implement the withdrawal agreement in UK law. We will publish a White Paper tomorrow setting out more details on this. On the future relationship, we believe that the White Paper that we have published is a principled and pragmatic plan for the relationship that we wish to build—an ambitious and innovative proposal that respects the position, interests and concerns of the European Union. It delivers on the decision of the British people to take back control of our laws, our money and our borders, while preserving and building on the historic ties with our European friends and neighbours, in areas such as trade and security, which we both rightly prize.