By Henry Bird
Since the beginning of July, the Prime Minister has been making the case for the so-called ‘Chequers Deal’, which, at time of publication, is the only official proposal put forward by the government for the UK’s exit from the EU.
It is a deal built on partnership and shared ideals, with terminology such as ‘joint’, ‘common’, and ‘co-operation’ throughout the 100-page white paper.
A ‘mobility framework’ to allow for UK and EU citizens to apply for free travel, without freedom of movement
In brief, it advocates access to the European single market through a ‘facilitated customs arrangement’, in turn opening up the possibility of a frictionless Irish border, the signing of a treaty to commit the UK to ‘continued harmonisation’ with EU trade rules to protect business interests.
It envisages a ‘joint institutional framework’ to ensure continued cooperation on judicial matters, and notably a ‘mobility framework’.
This would open up the possibility of both UK and EU citizens being able to apply for free travel between countries while also opting out of the EU’s free movement policy.
It seems a pretty decent attempt at compromise between many polarised groups.
It is worth saying that the EU has not agreed in full with the white paper, but it is in using this deal as a starting block that has enabled clear dialogue between the UK and EU during negotiations, with Jean-Claude Juncker, the head of the European Commission, now saying that the chances of reaching a deal by the end of November have ‘increased significantly’.
It is the ambiguity of Chequers that acknowledges the gruelling negotiations process
This optimistic assessment of progress led to the sterling rising against the Euro. Although parts of the Chequers deal have been criticised for their ambiguity and vagueness, it is these qualities which acknowledge the realistically gruelling process that is negotiating Brexit.
While other proposals skirt around facts and don’t acknowledge the inevitable difficulties that lie ahead, the Prime Minister’s proposals offer a starting point from which both sides are willing to work.
Photo Credit: Tiocfaidh ar la 1916 via Flickr