Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab is insisting the Government’s new EU withdrawal proposals stay true to the referendum result while backing business.
Ahead of the release of a much-anticipated white paper detailing the Brexit plan hammered out at a special Cabinet summit at Chequers, Mr Raab is saying the UK can continue frictionless cross-border trade with the EU in goods while setting its own tariffs for dealings with the rest of the world.
The proposals have already caused outrage among many Leave supporters, and prompted the resignations of Mr Raab’s predecessor as Brexit secretary, David Davis, and ex-foreign secretary Boris Johnson, from the Cabinet.
In a foreword to the white paper to be published on Thursday, Mr Raab is expected to say: “In line with our modern industrial strategy, this Government is determined to make sure the UK is ready to lead the industries of the future and seize the opportunities of global trade.
“At the same time, we need to cater for the deeply-integrated supply chains that criss-cross the UK and the EU, and which have developed over our 40 years of membership.
“The plan outlined in this white paper delivers this balance.
“It would take the UK out of the single market and the customs union.
“It would give the UK the flexibility we need to strike new trade deals around the world, in particular breaking new ground for agreements in services.
“It would maintain frictionless trade in goods between the UK and the EU through a new free trade area, responding to the needs of business.
“It would deliver on both sides’ commitments to Northern Ireland and Ireland, avoiding a hard border without compromising the EU’s autonomy or the UK’s sovereignty.
“Alongside this unprecedented economic partnership, we also want to build an unrivalled security partnership, and an unparalleled partnership on cross-cutting issues like data, and science and innovation.
“And to bolster this cooperation, we will need a new model of working together that allows the relationship to function smoothly on a day-to-day basis, and respond and adapt to new threats and global shifts while taking back control over our laws.
“The white paper details our proposal in all of these areas, setting out a comprehensive vision for the future relationship.
“It is a vision that respects the result of the referendum, and delivers a principled and practical Brexit.”