Brexit white paper set to reveal Government’s plan for leaving EU.
Brexit Secretary David Davis has set out the Government’s negotiating strategy for when the UK withdraws from the European Union.
The 77-page document was launched in a statement to the House of Commons and published on the government website.
Davis said the paper confirmed Prime Minister Theresa May’s vision of ‘an independent and truly global United Kingdom’.
Confirming the UK’s strategy would be guided by the 12 objectives set out by May in her Lancaster House speech last month, Davis said the Government was aiming for ‘a new, positive and constructive partnership between Britain and the European Union that works in our mutual interest’.
The white paper, entitled The United Kingdom’s Exit From And New Partnership With The European Union, was published a day after MPs voted overwhelmingly to permit May to press ahead with starting withdrawal negotiations under Article 50 of the EU treaties.
Davis, in his opening statement to MPs about the white paper, reiterated avoiding a ‘disruptive cliff edge’ post-Brexit will be important.
He said: ‘A never-ending transitional status is emphatically what not we need, not what we seek.
‘But a phased process of implementation of new arrangements – whether immigration controls, customs systems, the way we operate and cooperate on criminal and civil justice matters, on future regulatory and legal frameworks of business will be necessary for both sides.’
Davis said the UK wants to ‘work more closely, not less’ with the EU on security, fighting crime and terrorism and upholding justice.
For Labour, Sir Keir bemoaned Davis’s statement for saying ‘nothing’ and said the Opposition received the white paper just minutes before the Commons announcement.
Sir Keir said: ‘Flicking through the white paper I see… all that’s said about the final vote is that the final deal that is agreed will be put to a vote in both Houses of Parliament.
‘We have amendments down next week (to the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill) seeking a meaningful vote – a vote in this House before a vote is taken in the European Parliament.’
Davis, in his reply, said: ‘I’ve been here long enough to have voted thousands of times in this House. I’ve never yet voted on something I’ve considered not meaningful.
‘Every vote in this House is meaningful and there will be a meaningful vote at the end.’
Last night MPs voted through a bill that will allow the government to trigger Article 50, the formal beginning of Brexit.
The historic vote – which was passed by 498 to 114 votes – means the bill will now head to its next parliamentary stage, before heading back to the Commons and then the House of Lords.