Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Brexit Outline Includes Withdrawal from Three EU Establishments | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55366812

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Number 10 Downing Street in London, Britain. REUTERS

London- Prime Minister Theresa May’s government published its blueprint for Brexit on Thursday after winning a first parliamentary vote on a bill that would empower her to start pulling Britain out of the European Union.

London is aiming for a “new, positive and constructive partnership between Britain and the European Union that works in our mutual interest,” Brexit minister David Davis said as he launched the 77-page document in parliament, according to AFP.

MPs on Wednesday approved the first stage of a bill for triggering Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty, which would fire the starting gun on two years of exit negotiations. May wants to deploy Article 50 by the end of March, so the legislation process is going through parliament at speed.

The plan says Britain will aim to create a new mechanism to settle trade disputes once it leaves the European Union and pass new immigration and customs laws.

The blueprint set out in writing the 12 negotiating objectives May laid down in a landmark speech last month. EU trade, immigration and reciprocal citizens’ rights, and removing the European Communities Act of 1972 from the UK statute book and convert the body of existing EU law into domestic law, are the three broader scopes which will be directly rearranged by Brexit.

It outlined Britain’s aims as May prepares to begin the process of officially quitting the EU following last June’s historic referendum vote.

The “White Paper”, which came a day after the government comfortably won a first vote on triggering the start of divorce negotiations, also said Britain will pull out of the single market in order to control immigration from the EU, which ran at 284,000 in the year to June 2016.

The paper confirms that “wherever practical and appropriate” the same rules and laws will apply in the UK on the day after it leaves the EU.

It also confirms that the government intends to “take control of our own laws”, which will mean “bringing to an end the jurisdiction of the European court of justice in the UK” and establishing a new mechanism for resolving future disputes between the UK and the EU.

Britain will look to strike a new customs agreement with Brussels, enabling it to forge its own trade deals with the rest of the world, it said.

Davis said Britain wanted to build a strong, alternative partnership with Brussels.

“This government will make no attempt to remain in the EU by the backdoor, nor will we hold a second referendum on membership,” the document says.

More so, May’s spokeswoman said the length of the so-called ‘implementation phase’ would vary for different sectors.

Britain’s financial industry welcomed the proposal for phased implementation, which offers firms a few extra years to adapt, but said the paper offered little detail on what kind of access the government wanted to get to the single market.

Many pro-EU MPs voiced their distress at voting against their own deeply-held beliefs to pass the bill triggering Article 50, which is expected to receive final approval by the House of Lords next month.

In parliament, Davis said: “I’m not going to be throwing people out of Britain.

“We owe a moral responsibility, a moral debt, to the EU nationals here,” he said, adding that the same extended to British citizens abroad, “and we will protect both”.

Dozens of amendments are scheduled for debate over three days in the House of Commons from Monday.