Theresa May’s Chequers Proposal, which confirmed unlimited immigration from the EU will end, was agreed by the cabinet on Friday 6 July. After a 12-hour meeting at the Prime Minister’s country home, the cabinet made some important decisions on the terms and conditions of a Brexit agreement. This focused on which parts of being an EU member they hoped to retain, and which parts they wished to withdraw from. The initial proposal, which stems from the decisions made on Friday, has been drafted and a three-page summary has been released, named the ‘chequers statement’ and can be found online here.
Under part two of the three-page summary, headed ‘Benefits of the model’, it states;
“… In summary, the position we reached today would… end free movement, giving the UK back control over how many people enter the country…”.
When speaking to the BBC following the release of the proposal, Theresa May refused to rule out making it easier for EU citizens to come to the UK than it is for nationals of other countries which are not part of the EU.
Answering the question as to whether EU citizens will get preferential treatment Theresa May said that in order to decide, questions will need to be answered such as ‘what works for the UK?’ and ‘what is right for the UK?’.
Whilst the plans bring an end to freedom of movement, it is proposed that a ‘mobility framework’ would be set up which would allow UK and EU citizens to travel between countries, and apply to work and study. The Prime Minister confirmed this was part of the government’s plan to ‘take control of our borders’, which she states was voted for on 23 June 2016 when the British people voted to leave the EU.
So what happens next? We now await the release of white paper which is due to be published on 12 July 2018. This white paper will provide further details of the government’s plan for Brexit and will lay the foundation for talks with the EU in relation to the future of the UK.
Theresa May must then take the proposal to the EU where she will sit down and discuss the proposals with Brussels. Michel, Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, has not dismissed the Chequers proposal at this time, instead acknowledging that the UK had started to engage and called for more clarity.
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