Last month Sam Lowe argued that something like single market membership for goods could solve the Irish issue. In light of the crunch Chequers summit, re-read his viewby Sam Lowe / June 21, 2018 / Leave a comment
Amid all the chaos and confusion, is a possible Brexit landing point moving into view? It appears that Theresa May is inching towards pushing for a post-Brexit relationship that would see the UK remain in the European Union’s single market for goods, VAT area and customs union—while leaving the single market for services and ending the free movement of people. We at the Centre for European Reform have called this the Jersey option, as it replicates to some extent the arrangement the Channel Islands have with the EU.
Such a relationship would see the UK free to legislate and strike trade deals in the area of services (and suffer the consequence of reduced access to EU markets as a result). It would avoid the need for checks at the UK’s borders on goods going back and forth to the EU, reducing the risk of some of the feared negative impacts of Brexit such as queues of trucks backing up from Dover. And most importantly it would ensure there would be no need for physical infrastructure on the Northern Irish/Ireland land border.
Assuming the prime minister does actually want this, and can get it signed off by her cabinet (which recent reportssuggest is far from a given), will the EU agree to it?
The answer is probably not. But…