Today, 12th July in Westminster, Robin Walker: MP for Worcester and Minister for Exiting the EU has strongly welcomed today’s important announcement from his Ministerial department regarding Brexit and the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

The Department for Exiting the EU (Dexeu) has published their official white paper on its comprehensive vision for the UK’s future outside of the EU, which includes plans relating to future trade and co-operation, ensuring the UK can strike global trade deals and deliver on its commitments to no hard border in Northern Ireland.

The newly appointed Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, Dominic Raab MP, addressed the House of Commons Chamber shortly after the white paper was formally published.  He said the UK Government would respect the result of the 2016 Brexit vote, address business needs, and deliver a principled and practical Brexit.

The UK is set to leave the EU on 29th March 2019, after the 2016 referendum in which people voted by 51.9% to 48.1% for Brexit. In Worcester, 53.7% of people voted to leave the EU. Currently, the EU and the UK are negotiating outstanding issues relating to the UK’s departure as well as the outline of their future relationship once a proposed transition period comes to an end on 31 December 2020. Robin has always said that it was essential the UK Government brought people together whether they voted leave or remain, and also that they deliver on the referendum result for 100% of the people they represent and serve.  

The white paper and the Chequers agreement are designed to ensure that the UK can still have a successful trading partnership with the EU once its political relationship with the EU has changed.  Robin has been a Brexit Minister for the past two years and having worked long and hard on negotiations, Robin supports this pragmatic and practical progress in Brexit negotiations. The future relationship between the UK and the EU will ensure that the UK can take control of its borders and laws, with no hard border in Ireland, and most importantly, respecting the will of the British people who voted to leave the EU and delivering on the 2016 referendum result.

Proposals in today’s white paper underpin the visions previously set out by the Prime Minister, and in doing so address questions raised by the EU in the intervening months – explaining how the relationship would work, what benefits it would deliver for both sides, and why it would respect the sovereignty of the UK as well as the autonomy of the EU. At its core, it is a package that strikes a new and fair balance of rights and obligations. A principled Brexit means respecting the result of the referendum and the decision of the UK public to take back control of the UK’s laws, borders and money – and doing so in a way that supports the Government’s wider objectives across five key areas of the UK’s national life:

  • For the economy, developing a broad and deep economic relationship with the EU that maximises future prosperity in line with the modern Industrial Strategy and minimises disruption to trade between the UK and the EU, protecting jobs and livelihoods – at the same time making the most of trading opportunities around the world.
  • For communities, addressing specific concerns voiced in the referendum by ending free movement and putting in place a new immigration system, introducing new independent policies to support farming and fishing communities, using the Shared Prosperity Fund to spark a new wave of regeneration in the UK’s towns and cities, and keeping citizens safe.
  • For the union, meeting commitments to Northern Ireland by protecting the peace process and avoiding a hard border, safeguarding the constitutional and economic integrity of the UK, and devolving the appropriate powers to Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast – while The future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union 7 ensuring the deal delivers for the Crown Dependencies, Gibraltar and the other Overseas Territories, noting there will be no change in their long-standing relationships with the UK.
  • For democracy, leaving the EU’s institutions and reclaiming the UK’s sovereignty, ensuring the laws people live by are passed by those they elect and enforced by UK courts, with clear accountability to the people of the UK.
  • For the UK’s place in the world, continuing to promote innovation and new ideas, asserting a fully independent foreign policy, and working alongside the EU to promote and protect shared European values of democracy, openness and liberty. A new relationship Guided by these principles, the Government is determined to build a new relationship that works for both the UK and the EU. One which sees the UK leave the Single Market and the Customs Union to seize new opportunities and forge a new role in the world, while protecting jobs, supporting growth and maintaining security cooperation.

The Prime Minister said:

“The Government believes this new relationship with the EU needs to be broader in scope than any other that exists between the EU and a third country. It should reflect the UK’s and the EU’s deep history, close ties, and unique starting point. Furthermore: it must deliver real and lasting benefits for both sides, supporting shared prosperity and security – which is why the Government is proposing to structure the relationship around an economic partnership and a security partnership.”

“The future relationship also needs to be informed by both the UK and the EU taking a responsible approach to avoiding a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, in a way that respects the constitutional and economic integrity of the UK and the autonomy of the EU. To deliver this goal, the Government is proposing the establishment of a free trade area for goods. This free trade area would protect the uniquely integrated supply chains and ‘just-in-time’ processes that have developed across the UK and the EU over the last 40 years, and the jobs and livelihoods dependent on them, ensuring businesses on both sides can continue operating through their current value and supply chains. It would avoid the need for customs and regulatory checks at the border, and mean that businesses would not need to complete costly customs declarations. Furthermore, it would enable products to only undergo one set of approvals and authorisations in either market, before being sold in both. As a result, the free trade area for goods would see the UK and the EU meet their shared commitments to Northern Ireland and Ireland through the overall future relationship.”

Commenting on the white paper, Robin said:

“I am pleased that today’s announcement gives further clarity and detail for UK businesses, in particular on how post-Brexit economic and regulatory arrangements will work for the UK.”

“The white paper will help businesses such as those with complex supply chains like Mazak in my own constituency of Worcester, who trade both within the EU, and internationally. The common rulebook as detailed in today’s announcement will help Mazak and other global businesses trade, so they are able to import and export goods successfully without major changes post-Brexit.”

“Furthermore, the white paper maintains the UK’s relations with our EU neighbours, secures jobs and investment, and helps us to establish our new relationship with the EU.”

“I do appreciate that many people voted remain as well as leave, and we need to respect the outcome of the referendum, but we must also bring people together. The best way of doing this is for the UK to exit the EU with a strong future partnership that allows us to trade freely with the EU, and co-operate closely in a number of areas.  The UK Government should and will deliver on the result: not just for the 52% or 48%, but for 100% of the people we represent and serve.  I can assure my constituents that as a Brexit Minister I am working hard to do exactly this.”


Notes to Editors:

If you have any questions about this release then please call Robin Walker MP’s London Office on 020 7219 7196.

To read the UK Government’s white paper in full:

To read today’s statement by the Brexit Secretary of State to the Chamber:

To read more on the EU Withdrawal Act:

To read more of Robin’s previous releases on Brexit and the EU Referendum: