Brexit -What will happen next?
Theresa May has finally unveiled her 12 point Brexit objectives in a major speech at Lancaster House. Taking firm stance, she rejected a partial Brexit, saying that Britain will stand firm in negotiations with the EU and that, no deal for Britain, is better than a bad deal for Britain.
The headline key points were:
- 1Certainty about the exit process
- 2Control of own laws
- 3Strengthen the Union between the four nations of the United Kingdom
- 4Maintain the Common Travel Area with Ireland
- 5Control of Immigration
- 6Rights for EU nationals in Britain, and British nationals in the EU
- 7Protect workers’ rights
- 8Free trade with European markets
- 9New trade agreements with other countries
- 10The best place for science and innovation
- 11Co-operation in the fight against crime and terrorism
- 12A smooth, orderly Brexit
What does Theresa May’s 12 point plan mean for Britain in practical terms?
Taking back control of making laws in Westminster, Edinburgh, Belfast, and Cardiff is a key objective in the plan. This will bring an end to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in Britain. Some European laws, such as those protecting workers’ rights, will be translated into UK law and it is certain that many other such legal changes will be necessary during the process.
Wasting no time to initiate trade agreement talks with the USA and other countries, Theresa May clearly wants to be in the strongest position possible when EU talks begin. She has already confirmed that the Common external tariff will be scrapped and that Britain does not want to be part of the Common External policy. This will give Britain the scope to set independent import duties and taxes for goods entering the country, however, she is keen to retain a customs agreement with the EU to make EU trade as smooth as possible. Free trade with Europe is high on the agenda, but as EU leaders stand firm that free trade with the EU cannot be cherry picked, the government is likely to have to compromise to achieve a free trade agreement with the EU.
Immigration was another big topic on the list. One of the key reasons for leaving the single market is that it enables the UK to regain control over the number of people who come to live and work in Britain, which has put pressure on infrastructure, public services, housing, and schools. Millions of EU nationals living in the UK breathed a sigh of relief, as she read out that she wants to guarantee their rights to remain in the UK, but unfortunately, she did not go so far as to actually guarantee that this would happen.
Britain will continue to co-operate with its European partners in areas such as crime, terrorism and foreign affairs and in the world for science and innovation, an agreement to continue to collaborate with European partners on major science, research, and technology initiatives would also be welcomed.
The Government will put the final deal that is agreed between the UK and the EU to a vote in both Houses of Parliament, before it comes into force.
The plan is to reach an agreement by the time the 2-year Article 50 process ends, when a phased process of implementation for the new arrangements will start. This will give businesses enough time to plan and prepare for those new arrangements that will exist between Britain and the European Union.
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