by Ian Milne
THIS SEVENTY-SEVEN PAGE document (link below) is detailed, solid and “meaty”. It gives clarity. It relegates to the “dustbin of history” the attempts by the Supreme Court litigants and by Remainers in Parliament, the BBC and elsewhere to negate the verdict of the 23rd June referendum.
The White Paper states unequivocally that the UK will leave the so-called EU Single Market.
The White Paper states that the UK will be outside the EU Customs Union, in the following terms: the UK “will not be bound by the EU’s Common External Tariff or participate in the [EU] Common Commercial Policy”. In other words and to all intents and purposes, the UK will be outside the EU Customs Union.
Thus – to use the terminology of Nicola Sturgeon, Tim Farron, Nick Clegg, Diane Abbott and other Remainers – Brexit will be “hard Brexit”, and “falling off a cliff”.
Interesting extracts from the White Paper include:
8.13 Our new partnership should allow for tariff-free trade in goods that is as frictionless as possible between the UK and the EU Member States…
A mutually beneficial new customs arrangement
8.43 After we have left the EU, we want to ensure that we can take advantage of the opportunity to negotiate our own preferential trade agreements around the world. We will not be bound by the EU’s Common External Tariff or participate in the Common Commercial Policy. But we do want to ensure that cross-border trade with the EU is as frictionless and seamless as possible. These are our guiding objectives for the future customs arrangements with the EU.
8.44 The UK is currently a member of the EU’s Customs Union. As we look to build our future customs relationship with the EU and the rest of the world, we start from a strong position. As a large trading nation, we possess a world-class customs system which handles imports and exports from all over the world. We already have highly efficient processes for freight arriving from the rest of the world – the vast majority of customs declarations in the UK are submitted electronically and are cleared rapidly. Only a small proportion cannot go through so rapidly, for instance where risk assessment indicates that compliance and enforcement checks are required at the border. The World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index shows that HMRC operates one of the world’s most efficient customs regimes.
To view the whole White Paper follow this link.