UK Brexit committee lays out tests for future relationship
Britains divorce deal with the EU should meet 15 key tests including the frictionless flow of data, no hard border in Ireland and “no additional costs to businesses that trade in goods or services,” according to a report by the House of Commons Select Committee for Exiting the EU released today.
“Our tests set a high bar but they are based on the prime ministers vision for our future outside the EU and the statement by the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis MP that any new deal would be at least as good as what we have now,” Committee chair and Labour MP Hilary Benn said.
The report called for any Brexit deal struck with the bloc in October to be judged on whether it ensures the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland remains open “with no physical infrastructure” and allows financial services firms to “continue to sell their products into EU markets as at present.” It also called for free movement of workers providing services between the U.K. and the bloc and Britains continued participation in a number of EU agencies and research programs.
If negotiations about a “deep and special partnership” with the EU are not successful, the U.K. should consider membership of the European Economic Area or European Free Trade Association, the report also said.
Backing for the report was not unanimous. The so-called Norway model is “the worst of all worlds” and its inclusion in the report undermines British negotiators position in Brussels, Christopher Chope, a member of the committee and Brexiteer, said on BBC Radio 4.
Committee member and hardline Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg also took issue with the report, accusing the committees “high priests of Remain” of attempting to “thwart Brexit by stealth.”
“This serves no useful purpose as select committees reports are only influential if they are unanimous,” Rees-Mogg said. “Dividing on Leave-Remain lines just refights the referendum.”