EU ready to offer May free-trade area after Brexit – Reuters

Citing an internal EU document, Reuters’ Gabriela Baczynska recently reported that EU negotiators were ready to offer British Prime Minister Theresa May a free-trade area after Brexit and added: “contrary to her “Chequers” plan, there must be a customs border that will make trade less than frictionless.”

Key quotes

“The document – three pages of “defensive points” for EU officials to make against the British prime minister’s July proposal on future ties – quotes EU chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker on Sept. 12 saying that May’s push for UK goods to stay in the EU market under a “common rulebook” is an unacceptable bid to stay “only in parts of [the single market] you choose”.”

“The EU paper does go into some detail, concluding that Chequers would “give the UK an unfair competitive advantage”. It also stresses that officials “welcome… proposals to develop an ambitious new partnership” for which the Chequers proposal of a “free trade area” should be “the starting point”.”

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