The paper, which is available to view here, sets out the Government’s vision on trade and customs, including two broad options for future customs arrangements between the UK and EU. It outlines that, ‘in assessing the options for the UK’s future outside the EU Customs Union, the Government will be guided by what delivers the greatest economic advantage to the UK, and by three strategic objectives:’
- ensuring UK-EU trade is as frictionless as possible;
- avoiding a ‘hard border’ between Ireland and Northern Ireland; and
- establishing an independent international trade policy.
The paper confirms that the Government is proposing a time-limited interim period, to ensure a smooth and orderly transition to any future arrangements – and preventing a cliff edge and disruption for businesses. Feedback has been invited on the proposals which can be submitted by email to [email protected] . This is the first in a series of papers setting out the partnership arrangements which the UK government wants to build with the EU. A paper on a wider range of issues relating to Northern Ireland is to be published shortly. This paper also confirms that the government will publish two white papers – one on the Trade Bill, another on the Customs Bill – ahead of the introduction of each Bill in the Autumn.