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UK issues its approach to Future Relationship with the EU

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UK issues its approach to Future Relationship with the EU

UK-EU - Image © jonybigude - Fotolia

(LONDON) - Britain issued its own approach for the future partnership talks with the European Union Thursday, setting out a suite of proposals in response to the EU's adoption Wednesday of its negotiating directives.

The proposals define the scope and terms of the future partnership that the UK envisages with the EU., with the main element being the comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, or FTA, which is to cover substantially all trade.

Britain is also proposing a separate agreement on fisheries to "take back control of our waters, as is our right as an independent coastal state" - though the EU has already stated that the future partnership should uphold "existing reciprocal access to waters as well as stable quota shares".

Britain is also seeking an agreement on law enforcement and judicial cooperation in criminal matters to help protect the public and bring criminals to justice. As well as agreements in technical areas covering aviation, energy and civil nuclear cooperation "which will help ensure continuity for the UK on its new footing as an independent sovereign nation".

Specifically, Britain says it is seeking a "type of agreement which the EU has already concluded in recent years with Canada and other friendly countries".

It says its proposal draws on previous EU agreements such as the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement, the EU/Japan Economic Partnership Agreement and the EU/South Korea Free Trade Agreement.

More contentiously, it says it is "consistent with the Political Declaration agreed last October, in which both sides set the aim of concluding a 'zero tariffs, zero quotas' Free Trade Agreement".

The political declaration agreed last year did agree level playing field rules with the EU.

Britain says its approach is based on friendly cooperation between sovereign equals: "Our offer outlined today represents our clear and unwavering view that the UK will always have control of its own laws, political life and rules. Instead, both parties will respect each other's legal autonomy and the right to manage its own borders, immigration policy and taxes."

"We believe that our approach and proposals are fair and reasonable. This Government is committed to establishing the future relationship in ways that benefit the whole of the UK and strengthen the Union."

The Future Relationship with the EU (PDF, 334KB, 36 pages)

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