The British government published its long-awaited White Paper on Brexit, which formally lays out its strategy for the U.K.’s exit from the European Union. The 77-page document was presented in the House of Commons on Thursday by David Davis, the minister in charge of Brexit, and was also published online. The publication comes after pressure from MPs across the House of Commons, and was released just one day after British House of Commons lawmakers voted in favor of a bill, which if passed fully through parliament, would allow Theresa May to begin the Brexit.
from Zero Hedge:
The White Paper lays out the government’s 12 “principles” including migration control and “taking control of our own laws”. Brexit Secretary David Davis said the UK’s “best days are still to come”, outside the EU. Alternatively, Sir Keir Starmer, Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary, told the Commons there was “nothing” in the white paper to resolve the position of UK nationals living in other EU countries. And he said the paper failed to guarantee MPs a “meaningful” vote on the deal eventually obtained by Mrs May, rather than a simple choice to take it or leave it.
In the paper, the government delineates its goals for its negotiations with the EU, as announced by Prime Minister Theresa May last month. These include withdrawing from the EU single market and customs union and negotiating a new free trade agreement.
It also says reaching an early deal on the rights of EU nationals in the UK and British expats in Europe has “not proven possible”, saying the government wants to secure an agreement with European countries “at the earliest opportunity” during the formal talks. And it says the government will “keep our positions closely held and will need at times to be careful about the commentary we make public”, with MPs offered a vote on the final deal.
Some highlights from the paper courtesy of The Telegraph:
European Court of JusticeWe are considering very carefully the options that are open to us to gain control of the numbers of people coming to the UK from the EU. Implementing any new immigration arrangements for EU nationals and the support they receive will be complex and Parliament will have an important role in considering these matters further.
There may be a phased process of implementation to prepare for the new arrangements. This would give businesses and individuals enough time to plan and prepare for those new arrangements.
Repatriated lawsThe CJEU is amongst the most powerful of supranational courts due to the principles of primacy and direct effect in EU law.
We will bring an end to the jurisdiction of the CJEU in the UK. We will of course continue to honour our international commitments and follow international law.
EU nationals in BritainAs the powers to make these rules are repatriated to the UK from the EU, we have an opportunity to determine the level best placed to make new laws and policies on these issues, ensuring power sits closer to the people of the UK than ever before.
We have already committed that no decisions currently taken by the devolved administrations will be removed from them and we will use the opportunity of bringing decision making back to the UK to ensure that more decisions are devolved.
Irish BorderThe Government would have liked to resolve this issue ahead of the formal negotiations. And although many EU Member States favour such an agreement, this has not proven possible. The UK remains ready to give people the certainty they want and reach a reciprocal deal with our European partners at the earliest opportunity. It is the right and fair thing to do.
Single MarketWe recognise that for the people of Northern Ireland and Ireland, the ability to move freely across the border is an essential part of daily life. When the UK leaves the EU we aim to have as seamless and frictionless a border as possible between Northern Ireland and Ireland, so that we can continue to see the trade and everyday movements we have seen up to now.
Customs UnionWe do not seek to adopt a model already enjoyed by other countries. The UK already has zero tariffs on goods and a common regulatory framework with the EU Single Market. This position is unprecedented in previous trade negotiations. Unlike other trade negotiations, this is not about bringing two divergent systems together.
It is about finding the best way for the benefit of the common systems and frameworks, that currently enable UK and EU businesses to trade with and operate in each others’ markets, to continue when we leave the EU through a new comprehensive, bold and ambitious free trade agreement.
That agreement may take in elements of current Single Market arrangements in certain areas as it makes no sense to start again from scratch when the UK and the remaining Member States have adhered to the same rules for so many years. Such an arrangement would be on a fully reciprocal basis and in our mutual interests.
EU BudgetIt is in the interests of both the UK and the EU to have a mutually beneficial customs arrangement to ensure goods trade between the UK and EU can continue as much as possible as it does now. This will form a key part of our ambition for a new strategic partnership with the EU.
Labour has called calling for a “meaningful vote” that could send the prime minister back to the negotiating table if the deal is deemed unsatisfactory by MPs.Once we have left the EU, decisions on how taxpayers’ money will be spent will be made in the UK. As we will no longer be members of the Single Market, we will not be required to make vast contributions to the EU budget. There may be European programmes in which we might want to participate. If so, it is reasonable that we should make an appropriate contribution. But this will be a decision for the UK as we negotiate the new arrangements.
Formal negotiations can begin once the UK has given notice of Brexit under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which Mrs May has promised to do by the end of March. On Wednesday evening MPs voted to allow the PM to do this as they backed the European Union Bill by 498 votes to 114.
As BBC adds, MPs will discuss the bill in more detail next week when it reaches the committee stage in the Commons, and Labour has vowed to force through amendments. Hundreds of amendments have already been tabled for debate between Monday and Wednesday, with objectives set out in the government’s strategy expected to attract more. A total of 47 Labour rebels voted against the bill.
Shadow cabinet members Rachael Maskell and Dawn Butler quit the party’s front bench shortly before Wednesday evening’s vote, and in total, 13 Labour frontbenchers voted against their own party position which was to support the bill. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, shadow chancellor John McDonnell said other parties had also been divided on the issue, with two of the Liberal Democrats’ nine MPs abstaining despite orders to oppose the bill.
Mr McDonnell said a decision on whether frontbench rebels could remain in their jobs would be taken “in due course”, and that the atmosphere in his party was “one of mutual respect”, with determination to oppose a “reckless Brexit”.
He said Labour “may look divided” but would unite after the government triggers official negotiations under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty while “the Tory Party will split apart”.
* * *
The Brexit bill was published last week, after the Supreme Court decided MPs and peers must have a say before Article 50 could be triggered. It rejected the government’s argument that Mrs May had sufficient powers to trigger Brexit without consulting Parliament. Iain Watson, BBC political correspondent, said a “sizeable” Labour rebellion could grow further if amendments were not passed.
The SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats all opposed the government’s bill, alongside Tory Ken Clarke. The SNP’s foreign affairs spokesman at Westminster, Alex Salmond, said there would be “detailed questions” about the bill during its next stage. He said “the calibre of the government will be judged by how they respond to the amendments”. Mr Clarke, the only Conservative MP to defy his party by voting against the bill, said the result was “historic”, but the “mood could change” when the “real action” of negotiations with the EU starts.
Exit talks with the EU are expected to last up to two years, with the UK predicted to leave the 28-member organization in 2019.
Full White Paper (link)
Thanks to: https://theinternationalreporter.org