At an EU exit roundtable in Edinburgh today [12 July 2018] the Scottish Secretary gave an update on the UK Government’s proposals for exiting the European Union.
On the day the UK Government published The future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union, Mr Mundell met with leading figures from Scotland’s business, energy, fishing, farming, food and drink and financial services sectors. He set out how these proposals will bring significant benefits to Scotland and the whole of the UK. He listened closely to the views of those round the table.
Mr Mundell said:
We have an ambitious and comprehensive plan which respects what the UK Government has heard from businesses about how they want to trade after Brexit.
Our proposals will ensure that Scotland - and the rest of the UK - is best placed to capitalise on the opportunities of Brexit.
It is a plan which is good for jobs and prosperity and for the safety and security of people here and in Europe. We will take back control of our borders, our money and our laws, but do so in a way that protects jobs, allows us to strike new trade deals through an independent trade policy and keeps our people safe and our Union together.
It was very useful to discuss our proposals with Scottish businesses and hear their views.
The proposals, agreed at last week’s Chequers meeting, include:
A UK-EU free trade area that will avoid the need for customs and regulatory checks at the border. The friction-free movement of goods is the only way to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland and between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
A new business-friendly customs model—a facilitated customs arrangement—that would remove the need for customs checks and controls between the UK and the EU. Crucially, it would also allow the UK to pursue an independent trade policy. The UK would apply the UK’s tariffs and trade policy for goods intended for the UK and the EU’s tariffs and trade policy for goods intended for the EU.
The UK will have its own independent trade policy, with its own seat at the World Trade Organisation and the ability to set tariffs for its trade with the rest of the world.
A far-reaching security partnership that will ensure continued close co-operation with allies across Europe while enabling the UK Government to operate an independent foreign and defence policy.
The UK Government will be accelerating negotiations over the summer, securing a new relationship in the autumn, passing the withdrawal and implementation Bill and leaving the European Union on 29 March 2019.