The head of the British government Theresa May at a European summit in Brussels, June 2017 (illustration). REUTERS / Francois Lenoir
For twenty-four hours, European circles are busy weighing and dissecting meticulously 98 pages of this British White Paper on Brexit, sent yesterday, Thursday, July 12, by Theresa May to European negotiators.
with our correspondent in Brussels, Quentin Dickinson
And the opinions are divided, not on the content - clearly unacceptable as it is - but on the answer to be given. It is understandable here that this text is the result of superhuman efforts on the part of Theresa May to impose a minimum consensus between his ministers and parliamentarians of his party, and no one among the leaders of the EU does not wish its fall, synonymous with a UK exit from the EU without any agreement.
But, on the other hand, we feel that we have to honestly say things.
For the London proposals only provide for a free trade agreement covering only goods - whereas services now account for almost 80% of the UK economy.
In addition, there is a higher dispute settlement body at the EU Court of Justice, a legal impossibility. And the end of the free movement of people is explicitly stated, which can hardly be presented as progress. Finally, the proposed dual customs regime seems complex and, in use, inefficient and open to all traffic.
It remains for the Europeans three days to get an opinion on the White Paper: Monday, the new British negotiator Dominic Raab landed in Brussels, at Michel Barnier , in charge of negotiations on the European Union side.