Theresa May government publishes white paper on Brexit

Boris Johnson's letter

Britain is due to leave the European Union next March, marking the biggest foreign and trading policy shift in nearly half a century.

Extracts of Mr Davis's alternative White Paper, published on the ConservativeHome website, show that the former Brexit secretary was planning a "Canada plus plus plus" free trade deal based on mutual recognition of independent systems of regulation.

So here are the key excerpts from the chapter on "economic partnership" and what they mean.

This is a line that emerged in the Chequers statement last Friday, and it is one of the most important in this White Paper.

It's not just a concern for bankers.

The White Paper proposes a free trade area for goods - but it is very close to single market membership for goods in all but name.

Britain would leave the EU's Common Agricultural Policy and Common Fisheries Policy.

Parliament will oversee the UK's trade policy and have the ability to "choose" to diverge from the European Union rules. He said the government had "missed a trick by holding back on detail in several areas" and criticised the paper for not detailing the dispute resolution system that would operate for business when outside the European court of justice's purview.

Raab's attempt to explain the government's position on Brexit to the Commons descended into what Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer described as an "utter shambles" - with MPs hurriedly throwing copies of the white paper at their parliamentary colleagues during the five minutes that the house was suspended.

It's unclear, though, how long it would take to phase in the new customs arrangements.

"While the paper provides an indication that the United Kingdom wants to participate in pan-EU programmes in areas such as science and research, there continue to be too many unknowns on issues such as whether the UK's proposals can deliver continued use of the European Arrest Warrant and what they mean for the future migration of people".

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Fairbairn, who has been leading the campaign for a better deal for the CBI's 190,000 member businesses for the past two years, said the government had made "real progress" in relation to frictionless trade.

Britain wants a new treaty allowing it to continue using EU internal security measures such as the European Arrest Warrant and to participate in agencies such as Europol.

The government is keen to address business demands that they only need to go through one approval mechanism to access both markets, in highly regulated parts of the economy.

Broadcasters have also expressed concern that UK-based global business in their industry worth £1bn a year is threatened by Brexit and there are no solutions offered by the white paper.

"With looser trade ties to Europe, the financial and related professional services sector will be less able to create jobs, generate tax and support growth across the wider economy".

The proposal, part of a long-awaited report on what May hopes to secure from her Brussels negotiations, seems to contradict comments made by the Home Secretary on Wednesday that European Union citizens would no longer have an "automatic right" to "hop on a plane" and come to work in the UK.

The White Paper emphasises repeatedly that free movement of people will come to an end.

The government, which has not provided details on how migration arrangements will work after Brexit, has promised to bring out a white paper on the subject in the next few months.

But there are hints in this document of what could be to come - it sets out proposals for a mobility framework, which is pretty standard in trade agreements.

It could - among other things - "allow citizens to travel freely, without a visa, for tourism and temporary business activity".

But some Brexiteers fear that what will eventually emerge will be free movement under another name, and they are already suspicious that this is just an opening bid from the government.

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