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Road to Brexit: Foundations of the future economic partnershipBack

On Tuesday 20th February, the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union delivered a speech to set out key principles that will underpin the future economic agreement.

This sets out that Britain is determined to lead a race to the top in global standards, including measures such as a long-term regulatory framework for self-driving vehicles, and fresh legislation on aerial drone technology.

In this respect, a shared commitment to high standards can form a basis for decisions on regulatory recognition that will reduce friction for businesses.

Fair competition underpins the best elements of the European economy, and we must work hard to spread this principle. This will require that:

  • companies situated in the European Union cannot be both heavily subsidised by the state and have unfettered access to the United Kingdom market, and vice versa.
  • consumers are protected against anti-competitive behaviour.
  • both sides operate with a degree of mutual respect.

The principle of mutual trust, supported by robust mechanisms, can also reduce trade friction. This will require close cooperation between authorities and a common set of principles to guide them.

A full transcript of the speech can be found here.


Road to Brexit: A Security Partnership

On Saturday 17th February, the Prime Minister gave a speech on the UK’s role at the forefront of security co-operation arrangements in Europe and unconditional commitment to European security.

This details the new deep and special partnership that the UK wants to develop with the EU, to retain the co-operation we have and go further to meet new threats.
In relation to internal security arrangements, there are three key areas of co-operation which are the basis for the Prime Minister’s new treaty proposal:

  • Facilitating fast and efficient means to convict serious criminals. For example measures such as the European Arrest Warrant or the European Investigation Order.
  • Communication between law enforcement agencies, as an effective way to share expertise, information and intelligence: for instance, through Europol.
  • The exchange of data through databases such as Schengen Information System II and Passenger Name Records Directive.


There are also three key areas of focus on external security arrangements:

  • Having the means to consult regularly on global challenges, and co-ordinating how we use the levers we hold where our interests align. In particular, we want to continue to work closely on sanctions.
  • Co-operation on the ground and being open to work through EU mechanisms. These could include EU development programmes, as long as we play an appropriate role in shaping collective action.
  • Continuing to develop capabilities to meet future threats: on defence, agreeing a relationship with European Defence Fund and Defence Agency; on cyber, collaboration between the UK, EU, NATO and industry; and in space, keeping open all options such as the Galileo programme.

These should respect the decision-making autonomy of the EU and the sovereignty of the UK, while offering both sides the means to combine efforts.
The complete transcript of the speech can be found here.


Implementation Period Legal Text

Today, the Department for Exiting the European Union set out its proposed legal text to underpin the Implementation Period, a significant step towards agreement in March.

The text demonstrates that there is significant common ground between the two sides. It also puts forward practical solutions which will help deliver a smooth exit, and protect both UK and EU interests during the Implementation Period.

We are proposing a Joint Committee that would allow us to promptly resolve any issues arising from the conduct of either side, and ensure the implementation period runs smoothly.

On Justice and Home Affairs, we are suggesting that the UK should be able to join measures introduced during the implementation period if both sides agree, to ensure the UK and the EU can take new action together in response to unforeseen incidents or threats.

We have also highlighted the need for a discussion of the arrangements for foreign policy and defence collaboration during the period, supporting a swift agreement on our future security relationship.

It is also right that the UK participates in discussions essential to the operation of rules and regulations, particularly on issues relating to the UK. This would enable the EU to continue to access areas of UK expertise where this is helpful.

The complete publication can be found here.


Posted by Sue Robinson on 23/02/2018