After a long day of talks at Chequers, the cabinet has agreed what Theresa May hailed as a “collective position for the future of our negotiations” on Brexit. It might yet be modified amid Brussels objections or MPs’ concerns but below is the plan as agreed, as set out in a government statement:
Harmonisation on goods
The statement says the UK will “maintain a common rulebook for all goods” including agricultural products after Brexit, with the UK committing via treaty on continued harmonisation, thus avoiding border friction.
Parliament would have oversight of such rules, it adds, and can choose to not continue harmonisation “recognising that this would have consequences”. However, the proposal says protections in areas such as the environment, employment laws and consumer protection would not fall below current levels.
The arrangement would see looser arrangements for services, with a recognition this will involve less mutual access to markets than currently.
Joint jurisdiction of rules
The plan proposes what is termed a “joint institutional framework” for interpreting UK-EU agreements, to be carried out in each jurisdiction by the respective courts. However, decisions by UK courts would involve “due regard paid to EU caselaw in areas where the UK continued to apply a common rulebook”.
The system would include joint committees, or binding independent arbitration in the case of disputes,…