The Brexit Files: A Rundown of the U.K.'s Position Papers
(Bloomberg) -- Brexit talks between the U.K. and the European Union resume next week after Prime Minister Theresa May’s government released a series of position papers on its ambitions for the divorce and afterwards.
Here are links to the papers and what they set out:
The U.K. wants to maintain something akin to customs union membership for an interim period, granting goods exporters tariff-free, bureaucracy-light commerce with the EU while both sides sort out their future relationship. Industry lobby groups welcomed this. The U.K. also said it wants to be allowed to spend the transition lining up trade deals with other countries.
In what was seen as the biggest compromise by May so far, the paper stated her government would accept a “close cooperative relationship” with the European Court of Justice, in which both past and future rulings would still apply to the U.K. It suggested the government is open to monitoring EU case law, abiding by past ECJ rulings, taking future ones into account, and even referring decisions to it.
One of the three priority areas identified by the EU. Britain set out its intention not to return to a hard border with Ireland. Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar expressed skepticism at the U.K. proposal and said more progress needed to be made.
Britain laid out its plan to safeguard the entitlements of Europeans living in Britain. The proposal is conditional on the EU making a matching promise to British nationals residing on the continent. Citizens’ rights have so far proved one of the most contentious points of the negotiations.
The paper outlined the government’s decision to leave Euratom. Following a backlash from lawmakers and the industry, Brexit Secretary David Davis said the U.K. could still seek associate membership of Europe’s nuclear regulator. Britain is rejecting calls for it to retain membership as it would make it subject to ECJ rulings.
The British government reiterated it wants the “freest and most frictionless trade possible.” To achieve that, it asked that goods placed on the market before exit day continue to be sold in the U.K. and the EU afterwards. To avoid repeated compliance checks, the paper also proposed products that received approval before Brexit still be valid after the point of departure.
Britain called for a reciprocal agreement on confidentiality and the handling of information.
This paper spelled out the U.K. position for the judicial and administrative proceedings ongoing at the point of exit from the bloc. It noted cases that were not in front of the courts on the day would no longer be subject to ECJ jurisdiction.
The paper set out that Britain would guarantee that EU organizations and agencies could continue operating in Britain for a transitional period after Brexit.
Britain asked for the status quo to be maintained after Brexit and for a role in shaping future policy. It argued the U.K. risked damaging crucial parts of its technology industry unless it could secure an unprecedented deal with the EU on data exchange after Brexit.
Proposed how to handle future civil cases, such as cross-border business disputes, as well as divorce and child-custody issues.