LONDON – The United Kingdom has unveiled its plans for leaving the European Union in an official policy document titled “The United Kingdom’s exit from and new partnership with the European Union,” also known as the Brexit White Paper.
Taking control of British laws; controlling immigration; ensuring free trade with European markets and securing new trade deals with other countries are among the 12 principles that will guide the UK government through the Brexit process, according to the document.
Brexit negotiators intend to pursue a “wide reaching, bold and ambitious” free trade agreement with the EU that will include a mutually beneficial customs agreement. “The Government will prioritize securing the freest and most frictionless trade possible in goods and services between the UK and the EU,” according to the white paper. “We will not be seeking membership of the Single Market, but will pursue instead a new strategic partnership with the EU…”
With respect to agriculture and food, leaving the EU provides the UK an opportunity to improve and create new and improve policies for sustainable and productive farming and land management.
On the issue of trade with other countries, the UK intends to forge “ambitious free trade relationships across the world…” through a variety of avenues including bilateral free trade agreements; participation in multilateral and plurilateral negotiations; market access and dispute resolution through the World Trade Organization…” among other approaches.
To spearhead the UK’s ambitions on trade, the government formed a Dept. for International Trade tasked with increasing UK trade and investment. The agency will be responsible for supporting UK exports of goods and services; and maximizing wealth creation through Foreign Direct Investment and Outward Direct Investment.
“This department will lead the UK’s ambitions for deepening trade and investment relations with the wider world,” according to the white paper. “Many countries including China, Brazil, and the Gulf States have already expressed their interest in enhancing their trading relationships with us. We have started discussions on future trade ties with countries like Australia, New Zealand and India. The new United States Administration, the world’s biggest economy, has said that they are interested in an early trade agreement with the UK.”
Finally, the government pledged to deliver a smooth and orderly exit from the EU via a phased process “…in which both the UK and the EU institutions and the remaining EU Member States prepare for the new arrangements that will exist between us.”