Agreement on future of UK relationship with EU comes before transition arrangements.

5th September 2017

Iain Duncan Smith highlights the importance of securing an agreement on future of UK relations with EU comes before discussion about transition arrangements.

I urge my right hon. Friend not to accept the advice of the Opposition party, which only six weeks ago was in favour of leaving the customs union and the single market, only to reverse that position today; he should stay steady on the course of the Government. On transition and implementation deals, over which the Opposition have got very excited, may I remind him of one simple fact: you cannot have any discussion about transition or implementation until you know what you are transitioning to? Thus the agreement over what we get with the European Union comes before any discussion about transition deals.

I take my right hon. Friend’s point about the Labour party. I was being quite kindly to my opposite number, the shadow Brexit Secretary—after all, I only have to negotiate with Brussels, whereas he has to negotiate with his entire Front Bench! My right hon. Friend is right to say that we have to know where the endgame will be—where the end position will be—in order to get an accurate description of the implementation and transition period. I will differ from him on one point: that does not mean that we should not make it clear up front that we intend to have some sort of implementation period, where it is necessary—only where it is necessary.

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Freedom of Movement post Brexit by Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP

March 2018


This paper sets out proposals to revise the immigration system and additionally in the annexe it makes the point that more information is required to fully understand the nature of where the costs fall and benefits exist. The information on much, if not all, of this is held by the government.
The central objective should be to ensure control over the movement of people. Using a combination of work permits and a cap we would look to control access to work and rights to settlement. Free movement for EU citizens for other purposes should be preserved.