Commons briefing on post-Brexit relations between the UK and the EU

28 Aug 2018 | 2 min read

A research briefing from the House of Commons Library has summarised the government’s White Paper on future relations between the UK and the EU, published on 12 July 2018. The White Paper envisages a ‘common rulebook’ for ‘frictionless’ trade, plus UK co-operation in security matters, a commitment to maintain high environmental, data and consumer protection standards, UK participation in some EU agencies and solutions to the Irish border. The briefing looks at the proposals, along with those in former Brexit Secretary David Davis’s ‘alternative’ White Paper.

The White Paper is divided into four chapters, setting out:

• an economic partnership based on ‘bilateral autonomy’—this includes an independent trade policy, trade in goods, services and investment, the digital sector, future mobility, competition, the environment, transport and energy, plus new arrangements for services, financial services and the digital sector, a facilitated customs arrangement and no hard Irish border

• a security partnership—operational capabilities on internal security are maintained, co-operation or participation in law enforcement and criminal justice, data exchange, cyber security, extradition, counter-terrorism, sanctions, space, asylum and illegal immigration

• cross-cutting and other co-operation—UK participation in various EU agencies, participation or co-operation in science and innovation, data protection, culture and education and fishing opportunities

• institutional arrangements—including an EU–UK association agreement, UK participation in EU agencies, a contribution to the EU budget and UK respect for the remit of the Court of Justice of the EU

‘Alternative’ White Paper

An ‘alternative White Paper’, drawn up by the Department for Exiting the EU and published in 24 separate extracts in July 2018, calls for ‘a balanced, ambitious and wide-ranging economic partnership with the EU’ which recognises the strength of the existing UK–EU trading relationship and the existing high level of integration between the UK and EU economies.

This would involve largely frictionless trade, avoiding tariff, and the establishment of new customs arrangements to minimise frictions at the border.

Source: Briefing: The Brexit White Paper on future relations and alternative proposals

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