With negotiations due to restart again on Monday (September 25th, 2017) the UK’s position on Brexit has become a little clearer as a result of Theresa May’s speech in Florence on Friday (September 22nd, 2017).
2-year transition period
Mrs May offered some concessions on the ‘divorce’ settlement, while clarifying the UK’s government’s position on a ‘time-limited’ transition period (later confirmed as a two-year Brexit ‘implementation’ phase). EU negotiators see it as essential that there is agreement on the divorce settlement before trade talks can begin.
In terms of the nature of a future trading relationship Mrs May effectively ruled out an off-the-shelf trade deal along the lines of the Norwegian and Canadian deals, and instead called for a ‘creative approach’ to constructing a bespoke trade deal. It now appears clear that, during the transition period, the UK government is hoping to continue to trade within the rules of the EU’s customs union, and the single market, and will continue to contribute to the EU budget during this period, although there is still an absence of any detail regarding the UK’s financial commitment. Other issues still to be resolved include the rights of citizens, and an agreement on the Irish border.
TO SEE MRS MAY’S SPEECH, GO TO: FLORENCE SPEECH SOURCE; THE GUARDIAN
Gravity theory of trade