Title Original Language:
The process for exiting the European Union and the Government's negotiating objectives
Abstract Original Language:
will certainly not be completed in six months. There will be an enormous amount of ground to be covered in what may be a period of as little as 18 months in order to provide time for any deal to be properly scrutinised by member states and their parliaments, the European Parliament and, of course, the UK parliament and the devolved national parliaments. 20. The Government has stated that it will be looking for the best deal that it can secure in respect of continued access to European markets without tariffs or other obstacles. It should look to secure a mutually beneficial relationship in other areas where the UK currently cooperates with other Member States and also seek a future relationship with the EU based on continuing close cooperation in Justice and Home Affairs, Security, Foreign Affairs and Defence Policy. 21. No one can predict how negotiations will unfold once Article 50 is triggered. However, as a bare minimum, by the time that the UK exits the EU, it is essential that clarity has been provided around: a) The institutional and financial consequences of leaving the EU including resolving all budget, pension and other liabilities and the status of EU agencies currently based in the UK; b) Border arrangements between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and a recognition of Northern Ireland’s unique status with regard to the EU and confirmation of the institutional arrangements for north-south cooperation and east-west cooperation underpinning the Good Friday Agreement; c) the status of UK citizens living in the EU; d) the status of EU citizens living in the UK; e) the UK’s ongoing relationship with EU regulatory bodies and agencies; f) the status of ongoing police and judicial cooperation; g) the status of UK participation in ongoing Common Foreign and Security Policy missions; h) a clear framework for UK-EU trade; and i) clarity on location of former EU powers between UK and devolved governments. 22. The Government will undoubtedly be undertaking economic assessments of the different options for market access and trade looking both at risks and opportunities. In the interests of transparency, these should be published alongside the Government’s plan in so far as it does not compromise the Government’s negotiating hand. The UK Government’s negotiating plan should outline its position in relation to membership of the Single Market and the Customs Union. 23. A return to tariffs and other regulatory and bureaucratic impediments to trade would not be in the interests of UK businesses and therefore the Government should strive to ensure that this does not happen. 24. It will also be important for the Government to set out clearly its policy on membership of the Customs Union as part of its plan for the negotiations. Although the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 provides the House of Commons with powers to withhold ratification of Treaties, this is not a satisfactory way of dealing with such an important Treaty. We therefore call on the Government to make it clear now that Parliament will have a vote on the Treaty and that the timetable for this vote will allow for proper consideration of any deal that is negotiated.