Post-Brexit checks and controls inevitable EU warns

  • Brexit

The other 27 Member States have been invited to agree their approach to a new partnership with the UK after it leaves the Union.

Although the six-page document restates the EUs determination to have as close as possible a partnership with the UK in the future, and agrees that such a partnership should cover trade and economic co-operation, it warns that being outside the Customs Union and the Single Market will inevitably lead to frictions.

Divergence in external tariffs and internal rules as well as absence of common institutions and a shared legal system, necessitates checks and controls to uphold the integrity of the EU Single Market as well as of the UK market, the European Council document states. This unfortunately will have negative economic consequences.

The proposal for a free trade agreement (FTA) providing zero-tariff trade in goods and covering services will be welcomed in Whitehall but linking this to continued access to UK fishing waters for EU vessels will cause problems with Leave voters and politicians.

Many will remember the sight of Nigel Farage leading a flotilla into the Thames as part of the pro-Brexit Fishing for Leave.

Available at, the draft guidelines have been released ahead of a meeting of European Council leaders on 22 and 23 March, where they will be asked to agree to a 21-month transitional arrangement after the UK formally leaves the EU in March 2019.

The document includes the now familiar warning about the Single Market being a set menu.

It says: The European Council recalls that the four freedoms of the Single Market are indivisible and that there can be no cherry picking through participation based on a sector-by-sector approach that would undermine the integrity and proper functioning of the Single Market.

It also insists that the role of the EUs Court of Justice (CJEU) will be fully respected.

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