Brexit Implementation phase speech
David Davis today set out the next phase of Brexit negotiations in a keynote speech in Teesport , the “tropical” northern UK sea port. After dealing the mandatory British opening topic of the weather, and a self-congratulatory note on progress to date, he went on to outline the government position on the Brexit implementation phase.
He made clear that his immediate goal was to reach agreement with Brussels over the duration of the implementation period after 29 March 2019, targeting the March European Council meeting to achieve this.
The Brexit Bridge to the future
The implementation period, duration as yet not agreed, is described as a bridge to the future by Davis. He says it is designed to allow the UK time to set up the necessary post-Brexit infrastructure and systems to cope, and he argues allows EU counterparts to do just the same. Further he says that the legal ratification of any future relationship between the UK and EU will take place during the implementation period.
Same rules beyond 2019
He makes clear that the EU and UK will follow the same set of rules and laws post March 2019 during the implementation period and regulation across all economic sectors and justice will remain as today.
When the UK leaves the EU in 2019 it automatically leaves all of its instituions, however Davis makes a play for the future relationship with those institutions, so while the UK will have no seat at the rule making table it seeks to be involved and influence the activities.
This is a clear statement of intent from the UK Government; during the implementation period there will be no changes to Customs rules. He makes this crystal clear saying “For such a period to work, both sides must continue to follow the same, stable set of laws and rules.
Without compromising the integrity of the single market, and the customs union to which we will maintain access on current terms.”
The next 2 months are critical. Davis is telling our sector it is business as usual during the implementation, no upheaval of Customs processing same rules, same process until beyond this fixed time period. Any rowing back from that position leaves cross-border operators in an impossible position.
He says in his conclusion speed is of the essence. So is sticking to this position in Brussels in the next 2 months.
The full text of the speech, also touching on international agreements, security and changes to the UK immigration systems , can be read here: https://goo.gl/zxafKx
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