The 26-page political declaration – seen by The Guardian – proposed a trading agreement on goods as close as possible, but the UK and the EU would be separate markets with “inevitable barriers to trade”.
Set to be announced this Sunday (25 November) by the UK and the EU, the proposals differ from what was previously promised in Prime Minister Theresa May’s ‘Chequers Agreement’. This included no reference to a common rulebook for international trade.
The document also reasserts the plan for both sides to “build and improve on the single customs territory” that had been previously negotiated in the withdrawal agreement.
Vote of the referendum
May said the agreement delivered on the vote of the referendum and urged UK MPs to show their support for it.
“The negotiations are now at a critical moment and all our efforts must be focused on working with our European partners to bring this process to a final conclusion in the interests of all our people,” she said.
“The British people want Brexit to be settled, they want a good deal that sets us on a course for a brighter future and they want us to come together as a country and to move on to focus on the big issues at home – like our NHS.
Free and frictionless trade
Members of the food and drink industry have repeatedly called for free and frictionless trade with the EU after Brexit.
Earlier this year, the Food and Drink Federation and the British Retail Consortium are among 36 signatories of a statement by the National Farmers’ Union on Brexit priorities for the food supply chain, with frictionless trade seen as vital to the continued success of the industry.
Meanwhile, members of the food and drink manufacturing industry were cautiously optimistic for the Government’s draft Brexit plan agreed with the EU negotiators.