A belated blog on the UK’s Government White Paper regarding Brexit – see PDF document link or web-link. Parallel to the parliamentary voting procedures, the UK Government finally published a White Paper (official policy document) expounding it’s objectives for Brexit. The White Paper was published by the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) formal title of the White Paper is ‘The United Kingdom’s Exit from, and New Partnership with, the European Union.’
The White Paper expounds the 12-principles laid out by Prime May (17 January 2017) regarding the UK’s Government objectives for Brexit negotiations:
- Providing certainty and clarity – We will provide certainty wherever we can as we approach the negotiations.
- Taking control of our own laws – We will take control of our own statute book and bring an end to the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union in the UK.
- Strengthening the Union – We will secure a deal that works for the entire UK – for Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and all parts of England. We remain fully committed to the Belfast Agreement and its successors.
- Protecting our strong and historic ties with Ireland and maintaining the Common Travel Area – We will work to deliver a practical solution that allows for the maintenance of the Common Travel Area, whilst protecting the integrity of our immigration system and which protects our strong ties with Ireland.
- Controlling immigration – We will have control over the number of EU nationals coming to the UK.
- Securing rights for EU nationals in the UK, and UK nationals in the EU – We want to secure the status of EU citizens who are already living in the UK, and that of UK nationals in other Member States, as early as we can.
- Protecting workers’ rights – We will protect and enhance existing workers’ rights.
- Ensuring free trade with European markets – We will forge a new strategic partnership with the EU, including a wide reaching, bold and ambitious free trade agreement, and will seek a mutually beneficial new customs agreement with the EU.
- Securing new trade agreements with other countries – We will forge ambitious free trade relationships across the world.
- Ensuring the UK remains the best place for science and innovation – We will remain at the vanguard of science and innovation and will seek continued close collaboration with our European partners.
- Cooperating in the fight against crime and terrorism – We will continue to work with the EU to preserve European security, to fight terrorism, and to uphold justice across Europe.
- Delivering a smooth, orderly exit from the EU – We will seek a phased process of implementation, in which both the UK and the EU institutions and the remaining EU Member States prepare for the new arrangements that will exist between us.
A new strategic partnership between the UK and the European continent will be the next chapter in their complicated relationship. A country which has twice saved the European continent from totalitarianism, at a great cost, is not simply going to tear its relationship with its European neighbors.
Reality demonstrates that until now, the UK has not suffered from its decision to leave the EU. Given the surge of anti-capitalism and revulsion for free trade deals, this might be an advantage for the May Government. Let’s see if the EU has the capacity to get its act together and recognize the symbiotic relationship with the UK.
At the same time, given the turmoil which President Trump is causing with his anti-free trade stance, in essence the best weapon for supporters of free trade, the UK Government and Brexit-supporters should be weary not to expect what they hope from leaving the EU.