The plan for Brexit
The Government sought to step up the pace of Brexit talks this week by publishing the first of a series of position papers. Under the proposals, Britain will seek to smooth the exit process by mirroring its current arrangements with the EU for up to three years after quitting the bloc in March 2019. After this interim period – during which we would negotiate but not implement new trade deals with non-EU nations – the UK will seek one of two customs arrangements with the EU. Under the first, it would use vehicle-recognition software and other means to streamline border checks. Under the second, the UK and EU would enforce each other’s customs rules following a new partnership deal. London will insist in either case that the Irish border remains free of physical customs posts. The publication of the papers follows weeks of Cabinet infighting over Brexit. In a show of unity, Chancellor Philip Hammond and Liam Fox, the International Trade Secretary, wrote a joint article for The Sunday Telegraph, in which they agreed that there should be a transition phase to avoid a “cliff-edge” exit from the EU, but that it should be strictly time-limited and not become a “back door to staying in”.
Trucks queuing at Dover