Brexit/White Paper

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Taking control of our own laws

2.3 The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) is the EU’s ultimate arbiter on matters of EU law. As a supranational court, it aims to provide both consistent interpretation and enforcement of EU law across all 28 Member States and a clear process for dispute resolution when disagreements arise. The CJEU is amongst the most powerful of supranational courts due to the principles of primacy and direct effect in EU law. We will bring an end to the jurisdiction of the CJEU in the UK. We will of course continue to honour our international commitments and follow international law.[1]

Dispute resolution

2.4 We recognise that ensuring a fair and equitable implementation of our future relationship with the EU requires provision for dispute resolution.

2.5 Dispute resolution mechanisms ensure that all parties share a single understanding of an agreement, both in terms of interpretation and application. These mechanisms can also ensure uniform and fair enforcement of agreements.[2]

EU Trade

8.1 It is in the interests of the EU and all parts of the UK for the deeply integrated trade and economic relationship between the UK and EU to be maintained after our exit from the EU. Our new relationship should aim for the freest possible trade in goods and services between the UK and the EU. It should give UK companies the maximum freedom to trade with and operate within European markets and let European businesses do the same in the UK. This should include a new customs agreement with the EU, which will help to support our aim of trade with the EU that is as frictionless as possible.

8.2 We do not seek to adopt a model already enjoyed by other countries. The UK already has zero tariffs on goods and a common regulatory framework with the EU Single Market. This position is unprecedented in previous trade negotiations. Unlike other trade negotiations, this is not about bringing two divergent systems together. It is about finding the best way for the benefit of the common systems and frameworks, that currently enable UK and EU businesses to trade with and operate in each others’ markets, to continue when we leave the EU through a new comprehensive, bold and ambitious free trade agreement.

8.3 That agreement may take in elements of current Single Market arrangements in certain areas as it makes no sense to start again from scratch when the UK and the remaining Member States have adhered to the same rules for so many years. Such an arrangement would be on a fully reciprocal basis and in our mutual interests.[3]

EU trade in services

8.18 The Single Market for services is not complete. It seeks to remove barriers to businesses wanting to provide services across borders, or to establish a company in another EU Member State, through a range of horizontal and sector-specific legislation. This includes the mutual recognition of professional qualifications. The EU’s Digital Single Market measures are designed to ensure the regulatory environment keeps pace with the evolving digital economy.

8.19 We recognise that an effective system of civil judicial cooperation will provide certainty and protection for citizens and businesses of a stronger global UK.

8.20 The EU is a party to negotiations on the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) with more than twenty other countries. The UK continues to be committed to an ambitious TiSA and will play a positive role throughout the negotiations.

8.21 In our new strategic partnership we will be aiming for the freest possible trade in services between the UK and EU Member States.[4]

Intellectual property

8.36 A range of cross-cutting regulations underpin the provision and high standards of goods and services, maintaining a positive environment for businesses, investors and consumers. For example, a common competition and consumer protection framework deals with mergers, monopolies and anti-competitive activity and unfair trading within the EU on a consistent basis, and EU-wide systems facilitate the protection of intellectual property.

8.37 As we leave the EU, the Government is committed to making the UK the best place in the world to do business. This will mean fostering a high quality, stable and predictable regulatory environment, whilst also actively taking opportunities to reduce the cost of unnecessary regulation and to support innovative business models.[5]

Digital Single Market and data flows

8.38 The stability of data transfer is important for many sectors – from financial services, to tech, to energy companies. EU rules support data flows amongst Member States. For example, the EU data protection framework outlines the rights of EU citizens, as well as the obligations to which companies must adhere when processing and transferring this data. There is also an ongoing consultation regarding the free flow of data, including considering whether legislation is necessary to limit Member States’ requirements for data to be stored nationally.

8.39 The European Commission is able to recognise data protection standards in third countries as being essentially equivalent to those in the EU, meaning that EU companies are able to transfer data to those countries freely.

8.40 As we leave the EU, we will seek to maintain the stability of data transfer between EU Member States and the UK.[6]

European Union agencies

8.42 There are a number of EU agencies … which have been established to support EU Member States and their citizens. These can be responsible for enforcing particular regulatory regimes, or for pooling knowledge and information sharing. As part of exit negotiations the Government will discuss with the EU and Member States our future status and arrangements with regard to these agencies.[7]

Crime and security

11.1 The safety of the UK public is the top priority for the Government. The UK has always been, and will continue to be, a major global player in the fight against threats to security. With the threat constantly evolving, our response must be to work more closely with our partners, including the EU and its Member States, sharing information and supporting each other in combating the threats posed by those who wish us harm. We continue to cooperate closely with our European partners on foreign affairs and provide strong support in tackling the threat of terrorism. This cooperation has already intensified in the wake of the recent attacks in Paris, Brussels and Berlin. It is in all our interests that we continue our deep cooperation with the EU and its Member States to tackle these threats together.[8]

11.7 As we exit, we will therefore look to negotiate the best deal we can with the EU to cooperate in the fight against crime and terrorism. We will seek a strong and close future relationship with the EU, with a focus on operational and practical cross-border cooperation. We will seek a relationship that is capable of responding to the changing threats we face together. Public safety in the UK and the rest of Europe will be at the heart of this aspect of our negotiation.[9]



Extracts are licenced under the OGL where quotation and fair dealing does not apply.[1]