Proposals leaked to the press on July 5 suggest that British Prime Minister Theresa May wants to align Britain with EU rules for trade in goods after Brexit.
The report was leaked as carmaker Jaguar Land Rover became the latest firm (others include Airbus, BMW and Siemens) to warn that new trade barriers with Europe could hurt jobs and investment.
As reported by the Agence France-Presse (AFP), eurosceptics in May’s Conservative party responded with outrage to leaked papers suggesting she wants to keep a “common rulebook for all goods including agri-food”.
“This is not Brexit,” tweeted one MP, while another said it would leave Britain “out of Europe but still run by Europe”.
May will gather her warring ministers at her country retreat on July 6 to finally agree on what they want from the future relationship with the EU, amid warnings that time is running out to agree a deal with Brussels.
Meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, May said her ministers would decide on July 6 on “a substantial way forward which will enable the pace and intensity of the negotiations to increase”.
According to AFP, European leaders have warned that she is running out of time, while businesses have also increased their warnings in recent weeks about the need to avoid new trade barriers.
If cabinet agrees to her plan on July 6, the government intends to publish a detailed blueprint of what it wants from the wider future relationship with the EU next week.
But it then has only weeks to agree an outline deal by October, to allow it to be ratified by the British and European parliaments by Brexit.