EM Ireland: Executive Director’s Blog – Reflections on Salzburg
They say a week is a long time in politics. It’s easy to forget that it was only this time last week that Theresa May was making a speech from 10 Downing Street re-stating her commitment to the UK government’s ‘Chequers proposal’. It came after EU leaders had met in Salzburg as part of the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU for an informal summit.
Against the backdrop of the Alps, EU leaders met to discuss migration, internal security and, yes you guessed it, Brexit. But if the setting was serene, the sound of the accompanying Brexit mood music was less so.
Theresa May was hoping to win approval for her Chequers plan which envisages that after the UK leaves the EU, a new free trade area for goods be established between the EU and UK. Although any treaty on the EU-UK future relationship cannot be formally negotiated until after the UK has left the EU, a declaration on the framework for this future relationship will accompany any deal on the UK’s withdrawal. The UK’s proposals effectively outline staying in the EU Single Market for goods, but not maintaining the Single Market’s other three freedoms after Brexit, i.e. the free movement of money, services, and people.
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