Policy paper. Government statement following Cabinet away day at Chequers

Author (Corporate)
Series Title
Series Details July 2018
Publication Date 06/07/2018
Content Type

The United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May hosted a Cabinet away day at Chequers on the 6 July 2018 to discuss and collectively agree the UK’s detailed vision for a new EU-UK relationship after Britain's departure after March 2019.

Over the preceding months it had been difficult negotiating effectively with the EU partly due to the divergent views within the UK Cabinet on Brexit issues.

Following the Chequers meeting the Prime Minister was able to declare that an agreement had been reached and adopted by all Cabinet Ministers. The conclusions reached covered:

+ a substantial evolution of the existing UK proposals for the future relationship with the EU
+ agreement on the benefits of the model that should result from this position
+ the need to step up preparedness for the full range of scenarios that might result from the negotiations.

Prime Minister Theresa May said:

'Our proposal will create a UK - EU free trade area which establishes a common rule book for industrial goods and agricultural products. This maintains high standards in these areas, but we will also ensure that no new changes in the future take place without the approval of our Parliament.

As a result, we avoid friction in terms of trade, which protects jobs and livelihoods, as well as meeting our commitments in Northern Ireland.

We have also agreed a new business-friendly customs model with freedom to strike new trade deals around the world.

Next week we will be publishing a white paper* which will set out more details of how we will be taking back control of our money, laws and borders.

Now we must all move at pace to negotiate our proposal with the EU to deliver the prosperous and secure future all our people deserve'.

In an initial response the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier tweeted '#Chequers discussion on future to be welcomed. I look forward to White Paper. We will assess proposals to see if they are workable & realistic in view of #EUCO guidelines'.

Commentators noted that the European Commission and other EU Member States were guarded but were deeply attached to the inviolability of the principles of the four freedoms and unwilling to grant to the UK a special and unique 'cherry-picked' status.

The Confederation of British Industry said 'Business will welcome the fact the Government has reached agreement. This is a genuine confidence boost and the Prime Minister deserves credit for delivering a unified approach'.

Commentators noted that Brexit-supporting Cabinet ministers did not like the deal agreed but no minister formally resigned in protest. The Prime Minister would seek to sell the plan to all Conservative MPs on the 9 July 2018 and on the same day she would make a statement to the House of Commons.

However, on the 8 and 9 July 2018 a number of Brexit supporting Ministers did resign, including David Davis, Steve Baker and Boris Johnson. For details of these and the political ramifications of these developments click here.

* The UK Government published a White Paper The future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union on the 12 July 2018.

For follow-up information see:

+ [Brexit Negotiations]: Programme: EU-UK Article 50 negotiations Brussels, 16-17 August 2018 / 21-22 August 2018 / 29-31 August 2018 / 5-6 September 2018
+ [Brexit and the Conservative Party]: Brexit: The Conservative Centre cannot hold


The United Kingdom would leave the European Union on 29 March 2019, and begin to chart a new course in the world. After a time-limited implementation period ('Transition') that would conclude at the end of 2020, the UK and the EU would enter into a new relationship – one that must work for both sides, underpinning shared prosperity and security.

Despite negotiations taking place with the EU over an extended period, and over two years since the June 2016 referendum, the UK Government had failed to agree a clear and detailed negotiating position due to divisions within the Conservative Party.

For a detailed Brexit timeline see here

For further information on specific aspects of the Brexit negotiations:

+ Economic Partnership
+ Security Partnership
+ Future customs arrangements
+ Border between Ireland and Northern Ireland
+ The concerns of businesses

Source Link https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-statement-following-cabinet-away-day-at-chequers
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Record URL https://www.europeansources.info/record/?p=374423