Saturday, 7 July 2018

Brexit ~ Chequers talks 6 July ~ Cards on the table

Mr Donald Tusk - the President of the European Council - noted in his remarks at the end of the recent European Council meeting that - "On Brexit. The EU27 has taken note of what has been achieved so far. However, there is a great deal of work ahead, and the most difficult tasks are still unresolved. If we want to reach a deal in October we need quick progress. This is the last call to lay the cards on the table."

After an all day session at Chequers on Friday 6 July, the Cabinet agreed a "collective position" on the future relationship of the UK with the EU - BBC News 6 July.

A White Paper is to be published on 12 July.  Talks with the EU resume on Monday 16 July.

It is remarkable
that this meeting took place more than 2 years after the referendum!  Instead, the Prime Minister's Lancaster House speech (17 January 2017) set the UK government's "red-lines" for negotiations.  The UK's future was to be outside the EU Customs Union and EU Single Market.   It appears that those red-lines were set without any Cabinet discussion and they closed down negotiating options and set a course toward a "hard Brexit" - Politics 15 February 2017.

After the Chequers talks, the government issued a fuller statement at the end of which is the comment:

Here is some official - and realistic - recognition that NO DEAL is now a possible and perhaps likely scenario even though it is one that British business is keen to avoid.

The Chequers proposal is unlikely to be fully acceptable to the EU but the government has finally put its cards on the table and said what it wants.  At least, there is now a basis for negotiation.

In her statement (link below) the PM said - "Today in detailed discussions the Cabinet has agreed our collective position for the future of our negotiations with the EU."  The word "collective" appears to be intended to mean the collective responsibility of Cabinet but it is debatable whether the Cabinet will remain united in the event of either rejection of any aspects of the proposals or EU demands for changes.  Also, it is entirely possible that some Ministers will not be happy with the proposal and may decide that they are unable to support it in the days ahead.  Read Theresa May's letter to Conservative MPs

Further analysis of the proposals to follow when the White Paper is published. 
·  Government statement following Cabinet away day at Chequers 

·  PM words following Chequers: 6 July 2018

Comment and Reaction:

BBC News 5 July - Why services matter in any deal - Week in Review

The Telegraph - 6 July - Theresa May has betrayed us ....

The Guardian  - 7 July - Theresa May secures approval from Cabinet to negotiate soft Brexit

BBC 7 July - The new UK Brexit plan agreed at Chequers

Scottish Centre for European Relations - 7 July - Chequers: "Soft" Brexit or just any Brexit

Brexit Blog - Chris Grey - 7 July - Chequers agreement: Medium Brexit?

Lawyers for Britain - 7 July - Chequers Cabinet conclusions - an assessment concluding by saying -

  : Summary of the Chequers statement :


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