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UK government unveils its Brexit wish-list

By Cecily Liu in London | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-07-12 19:59
Anti-Brexit demonstrators wave EU and Union flags outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, January 30, 2018. [Photo/Agencies]

The British government published its much-anticipated white paper on Thursday that details its “principled and practical” blueprint for withdrawing from the European Union and interacting with the trading bloc in future.

Downing Street says the plan offers the EU an opportunity to develop a comprehensive “free trade area for goods”, delivering frictionless trade between the United Kingdom and the EU.

The plan will be presented to the EU, with the aim of securing a deal on the post-Brexit relationship by the fall.

Other items covered in the plan include the economic partnership, security cooperation, collaboration in aviation and nuclear power, and “institutional frameworks” that will enforce the agreement.

Free movement of people between the EU and the UK will end, the white paper says.

On the security front, Britain and the EU will continue to share data and information to protect citizens, and the two parties will coordinate their responses on foreign policy issues and matters of defense.

The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, has previously insisted on proposals that are workable.

The UK’s new Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab was scheduled to brief MPs on the details on Thursday afternoon.

The white paper follows an agreement reached among ministers at a cabinet meeting last Friday at the prime minister’s country residence, Chequers.

The white paper sets out the blueprint for the so-called soft Brexit, which has been criticized by some MPs, who have complained that the plans do not give Britain sufficient independence from the EU.

The proposals for a soft Brexit triggered the resignations of David Davis, who was the previous Brexit secretary, and Boris Johnson, who had been foreign secretary. Both were staunch supporters of the camp wanting full independence from the EU.

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