Britain Looks Set to Leave European Customs Union; BREXIT WHITE PAPER 'PAVES WAY FOR NEW AND CONSTRUCTIVE PARTNERSHIP' SAYS DAVIS

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), February 3, 2017 | Go to article overview

Britain Looks Set to Leave European Customs Union; BREXIT WHITE PAPER 'PAVES WAY FOR NEW AND CONSTRUCTIVE PARTNERSHIP' SAYS DAVIS


Byline: ANDREW WOODCOCK Daily Post Correspondent welshnews@dailypost.co.uk

BRITAIN looks set to quit the European Customs Union, after a white paper setting out the Government's negotiating plan for Brexit ditched Theresa May's suggestion that the UK could remain an "associate member" after withdrawing from the EU.

The document also indicated Britain could become subject to a new arbitration panel to resolve disputes with the EU after it removes itself from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

The keenly-awaited 77-page document unveiled by Brexit Secretary David Davis fleshed out the 12 key objectives set out by the Prime Minister in last month's Lancaster House speech, but offered few new details about the relationship the Government hopes to forge with the remaining EU.

It confirmed Mrs May's assurance that the end of Britain's EU membership would not come as an abrupt "cliff-edge" moment, but changes including immigration controls, customs systems and business regulations would be phased in gradually.

"For each issue, the time to phase in the new arrangements may differ; some might be introduced very quickly, some might take longer," said the paper.

"The interim arrangements are likely to be a matter of negotiation. The UK will not, however, seek some form of unlimited transitional status."

The paper restated Mrs May's intention to take Britain out of the Common Commercial Policy and Common External Tariff - the elements of the Customs Union which prevent the UK from striking free trade agreements with other countries. But where she said at Lancaster House that she wanted crossborder trade to be kept "as frictionless as possible" either by the UK becoming an associate member, remaining a signatory to some elements of the CU or through a completely new customs agreement, the white paper made no mention of any possibility of continued membership. …

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