Dear Ms Davies,
7th December, 2017
received by email)
Thank you for writing to the Prime Minister. We are responding on her behalf.
The Prime Minister has been clear that the UK will honour its commitments made during the period of our membership. The Commission has set out its position on the financial settlement and we have undertaken a detailed examination of the technicalities where we need to reach a shared view. We are making clear progress in building a common technical understanding on every item in the financial settlement discussion and are approaching discussions constructively and respectfully and are confident we can achieve an outcome that works in the interests of both sides.
We have listened to EU leaders and we understand and respect the position that the four freedoms of the Single Market are indivisible and there can be no cherry-picking. Therefore, we do not seek membership of the Single Market after we leave the EU, but a bold and ambitious Free Trade Agreement as part of a new, deep and special partnership.
Being out of the EU but remaining a member of the Single Market would mean accepting a role for the Court of Justice of the EU. It would mean still not having control over immigration. It would to all intents and purposes mean not leaving the EU at all.
By leaving the Customs Union and establishing a new and ambitious customs arrangement with the EU, we will be able to forge new trade relationships with our partners around the world, and maintain as frictionless trade as possible in goods between the UK and EU, providing a positive and powerful voice for free trade.
We want our new customs arrangements to meet three objectives: to keep trade with the EU as frictionless as possible, to avoid a ‘hard border’ between Ireland and Northern Ireland and to establish an independent international trade policy.
We are not seeking to extend the Article 50 process: an implementation period does not mean postponing our exit from the EU. We will leave the EU in March 2019 and will no longer be a Member State.
The Prime Minister’s speech in Florence added new momentum to the negotiations by making a firm commitment on the financial settlement; and proposing a time limited implementation period that is in the interests of both the UK and the EU.
Both sides are agreed that subsequent rounds have been conducted in a new spirit, and are determined to work together to get an outcome they can stand behind and that works for all our people.
DExEU Correspondence Team