UK White Paper 'a step towards a softer Brexit'

Boris Johnson's letter

At its heart is a proposal for a new Britain-EU "free trade area", with interlinked customs regimes, and identical regulations for industrial goods and agri-food.

However, the financial services industry attacked the government, describing the white paper as a "real blow" for the sector. It does not offer an alternative proposal to the current EU-wide passport for banking and it was "regrettable and frustrating" that the City's suggestion for "mutual recognition" of services "has been dropped before even making it to the negotiating table", said TheCityUK's chief executive, Miles Celic.

"Time is running out so it is essential that the pace of negotiations accelerates to ensure an orderly Brexit". Hours before he is due to touch down in Britain, he lobbed a verbal hand grenade at his host, saying Mrs May is not giving voters the Brexit deal they wanted.

Prior to his flight to the UK, Mr Trump used a news conference at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels to deliver an unhelpful Brexit intervention to Mrs May.

"But maybe they're taking a little bit of a different route, so I don't know if that's what they voted for".

"Our proposal is comprehensive".

"I don't think we should be going through the White Paper and trying to undermine it and trying to find inconsistencies", he said.

"It would deliver a principled and practical Brexit that is in our national interest, and the UK's and the EU's mutual interest".

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It sets out plans for an end to free movement, with new rules allowing visa-free travel for tourism and temporary work.

Brexit campaign leader Nigel Farage warned the Prime Minister will "destroy the Conservative Party" if she remains leader, adding that May and her Cabinet "grossly underestimate how reviled" their plans for a super-soft Brexit are with the public.

And it states that an independent arbitration panel set up to resolve UK-EU disputes will be able to seek guidance from the European Court of Justice, but only on the interpretation of EU law.

The government's proposal for a new financial services arrangement post-Brexit will effectively make it more hard for Britain's banks, insurers and asset managers to do business across the European Union. This is crucial for manufacturers including car-makers, who otherwise face tariffs when exporting to the EU.

The City of London and TheCityUK have been lobbying the government for months to back their mutual recognition plan even though European Union officials dismissed it because it offers the benefits of the single market without obligations or costs.

The plan also seeks to keep Britain in major EU agencies, including the European Aviation Safety Agency, the European Medicines Agency and the police agency Europol. It maintains it wants to retain involvement in the project, in particular its Public Regulated Service - the encrypted navigation used for government and defence objective, which the European Union wants to exclude Britain from.

"It delivers on the vote that people gave on Brexit, it delivers the fact that we will have an end to free movement, we will have an end to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the United Kingdom, we won't be sending vast contributions to the EU every year, we'll be out of the Common Agricultural Policy, out of the Common Fisheries Policy", she said. It stops short of saying European Union citizens will be prioritised in any future immigration system.

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