The UK is set to leave the EU in March 2019. There are now only 15 months until the date for Brexit, notwithstanding the unlikely scenario that the Article 50 deadline is extended. Yet the government is divided on the nature of the UK’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU.
With the first stage of the negotiations now complete and discussions set to turn to the future partnership, now is the time for the UK to decide what it wants for its long-term future outside of the EU.
A strategy that is political sustainable and brings the country together should aim to address the main concerns of Leave voters – particularly on immigration and sovereignty – while also protecting the main priorities of Remain voters – particularly on the economy. Many of these objectives are opposed to each other, which makes the government’s task of negotiating a Brexit agreement an exceptionally difficult one. But provided that the negotiating strategy is sufficiently nuanced, and takes into account both sides of the argument, we believe there is scope for a compromise position that secures public consent.
Here, we set out here a plan for a new UK-EU partnership that we believe would meet the UK’s priorities and have the maximal chance of securing an agreement with the EU27.