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May publishes its plan for Brexit, with a free trade zone that excludes services

The document proposes an association agreement, the type of which Brussels has signed with Ukraine, and requests to maintain a close relationship with the EU in various areas

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May publishes its plan for Brexit, with a free trade zone that excludes services

The British government has published this Thursday at noon its proposal for future relationship of United Kingdom with European Union, most important text published by London since referendum of 2016 and has already provoked earlier this week resignation of two ministers , for which proposal betrays vote of British in that consultation. In 100-page document, United Kingdom proposes to EU an "association agreement", of type that Brussels recently signed with Ukraine, including a "free trade area" for goods, a more lax service relationship, which would allow divergence Between country and bloc, as well as close cooperation in security matters. This is first time, two years after referendum, that London details its negotiating position.

May's proposal, as summary approved at meeting with its cabinet last Friday, surpassed numerous red lines drawn by prime minister in past, in a half dozen speeches that have been sketching position today, and confirms Your choice of a smooth breakup with EU. An exit that does not completely dilate close ties that exist today, as business world has demanded, and which would allow Prime Minister to fulfil his commitment, acquired at end of last year, to avoid a physical frontier between Norrn Ireland and Republic of Ireland.

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The Prime Minister herself has recognized in Parliament that position of United Kingdom has evolved in context of a "need for pragmatism and commitment of both sides". The document will hardly be accepted in its current tenor by Brussels, but it seeks to provide a starting point for accelerating negotiations. The proposal for a free trade area of goods is accompanied by a complex system to keep United Kingdom in customs territory of bloc. But it explicitly avoids, as planned, to speak of "customs union", a red line clear for British government, since it would certainly imply frontal rejection of Eurosceptic sector.

With regard to services, which account for 80% of British economy, document proposes a less-narrow relationship, which would imply "more barriers in accession of EU to European market than re are today". With regard to financial services, a "regulatory and economic agreement" is proposed. This comes to bury idea of mutual recognition, raised by May in past, which would imply that United Kingdom and EU would mutually recognize its financial institution standards.

The document also contains considerable flexibility with regard to European immigration, compared to messages launched by government in last two years. He talks about " future partnership should provide reciprocal arrangements, congruent with end of free movement" of people. These arrangements, he continues, should support companies in "moving ir talented people", "enabling citizens to travel freely, without visas, for tourism and temporary business activity" and "facilitating mobility for students and young people." Details of British immigration regime after Brexit will be published in anor document scheduled for fall.

For resolution of conflicts that could arise under agreement, we talk about creation of a "joint committee", which would take into account jurisprudence of British justice and that of Court of Justice of EU. In those areas where common rules are agreed, British courts should take into account jurisprudence of that court. London would also respect jurisdiction of Luxembourg Court in those European agencies in which United Kingdom participates.

The paper presented on Thursday is London's starting position to negotiate future relationship with EU, which will be negotiated predictably during two-year transition period scheduled to open on 29 March 2019. That day, United Kingdom will automatically be outside EU under Article 50 of Treaty of Lisbon. By that date it must be approved and signed exit agreement, which should resolve economic invoice to be paid by United Kingdom, rights of European citizens living in United Kingdom and vice versa, as well as situation of border in Ireland. On three issues a principle was reached according to end of last year. The terms of transitional period must also be established. The May document will probably be added as a political statement appended to exit agreement. When UK is outside EU, negotiations on future relationship with EU will really begin.

In Parliament, Brexit spokesman in opposition, Labour Keir Starmer, has described document as "unviable" and has added that it is unlikely that opposition of a certain sector of conservative deputies will survive. Anticipating battle to give Tories ' hard wing, deputy Jacob Rees-Mogg, president of European Research Group, an opaque body that brings toger conservative legislators more eurosceptics, has said that this is "major vassalage since King John I paid tribute to Philip II of France in Goulet in 1200 ". "There are very few signs of prime minister's famous red lines. It is not something I would vote for or what British voted for, "he warned.

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