The British government has revealed its plans for leaving the European Union (EU) in a White Paper presented to British parliament. It includes 12 guidelines for negotiation based on Prime Minister Theresa May’s recent speech.
According to the BBC, they include actions on:
- Trade: The UK will seek a new customs arrangement following its withdrawal from the EU
- Immigration: The introduction of a new system designed to fill skills shortages’ while welcoming students. This will control EU migration.
- Expats: The UK will seek an agreement with the EU over the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens living in Europe
- Sovereignty: The UK will seek to set up resolution mechanisms for trade disputes to replace the European Court of Justice
- Border: The UK will aim for a seamless, peaceful border between Northern Ireland, and Ireland
- Devolution: Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are to be given more powers as decision-making is returned to the U.K.
A vote on the draft bill passed Wednesday: 498-111. It allows Prime Minister Theresa May to enter negotiations once Article 50 is triggered. May is expected to do so by March 31. Article 50 is part of the Lisbon Treaty that spells out conditions under which a member country can leave the European Union.
Parliament will also get a vote on the final decision. The Labour Party wants they call a “meaningful vote”, so that if M.P’s were to reject a deal it would send May back to the negotiating table.
Scotland to Vote on Draft Law
Scotland will hold its own vote on the law in Scottish Parliament. “It is now essential that the Scottish Parliament’s views are heard prior to the end of the committee stage of the Article 50 bill in the House of Commons, so we will lodge a motion to allow Parliament to express its view,” Scottish Minister for U.K. Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe Michael Russell told Bloomberg News in an email statement. The vote will take place Tuesday February 7, 2017.
Late last year, Scottish Parliament passed its own Brexit plan which, looks to force the U.K. to negotiate an agreement to keep Scotland in the E.U. even if the rest of the U.K. pulls out. Scottish National Party (S.N.P) leadership have repeatedly hinted that Brexit could trigger a second independence referendum. The U.K. Supreme court recently ruled that Scotland doesn’t have a say on Brexit.