Theresa May says Cabinet supports her Brexit plan after Chequers summit

07 Juillet, 2018, 13:57 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Theresa May

But under the Government's plans the United Kingdom would be free to diverge from EU rules over services, a major part of the British economy, with ministers acknowledging this will reduce the levels of access available to European markets.

"Today in detailed discussions the cabinet has agreed our collective position for the future of our negotiations with the EU", May said in a statement.

A new UK-EU free trade area for goods will be created under Brexit plans agreed by Theresa May and her ministers at Chequers.

Mrs May said she hoped the proposals would allow for talks with the European Union to move forward after months of stalling from both sides.

That fear was felt so strongly that Brexit campaigner and foreign minister Boris Johnson convened a crisis meeting of like-minded colleagues late on Thursday to discuss strategy to counter May's plan.

After nearly 12 hours of talks at Chequers, the prime minister's country retreat, May said that "the Cabinet has agreed our collective position for the future of our negotiations with the EU" - a pronouncement akin to the British government equivalent of white smoke from the Vatican announcing the election of a new pope.

"As a result, we avoid friction in terms of trade, which protects jobs and livelihoods, as well as meeting our commitments in Northern Ireland". Carolyn Fairbairn, head of the Confederation of British Industry, said the agreement was "a genuine confidence boost".

Alignment on goods could reduce the UK's flexibility to strike trade deals with other countries, particularly the United States which would want an agreement allowing its farm products, produced to different standards, into the British market.

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Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said: "It is farcical that it has taken two years for the Cabinet to even attempt to agree a position on the basics of our future relationship with the EU".

They may also have been reassured by May reiterating her belief that any agreement with the EU should end the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, although British courts would still have to "pay due regard" to its rulings.

'On previous form, whatever has apparently been agreed will struggle to survive contact with Tory MPs and members. Former U.K. Independence Party leader Nigel Farage said the proposal was "a sell-out to the global corporates".

Mrs May said the long-awaited Brexit negotiation white paper will be published next week, setting out more details of "how we will be taking back control of our money, laws and borders".

Business secretary Greg Clark welcomed the Brexit deal thrashed out by ministers at Chequers.

In a statement released late in the evening, she said the 26 cabinet members in attendance reached a "collective" agreement that would see the United Kingdom agree to negotiate a "common rulebook for all goods" in a combined customs territory.

Shadow global trade secretary Barry Gardiner said: "There is a danger that this is a lowest common denominator plan that has really been constructed to hold the Cabinet together rather than to secure the strong negotiating position that we need with the European Union, that will create jobs, that will create growth in our economy".


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