UK Parliament sets out the key tests by which any Brexit deal must be judged.


7 April 2018

The EU and UK negotiating teams must agree the framework of the future relationship by October 2018.  Both sides agree that the UK has an ‘enormous amount’ to offer the EU as a third country and that it is in the interests of all parties to reach a mutually beneficial settlement.

The UK Parliamentary Committee responsible for overseeing Brexit published its 4th Report on 4 April 2018.  They spell out the tests that will determine whether the Government’s stated objectives for Brexit have been met.

The 70 page report details the criteria that will “assist Parliament when it comes to its meaningful vote at the end of the Article 50 negotiations”, according to Chairman, Hilary Benn, MP.

The report uses the Government’s stated objectives for a successful Brexit.  In the words of the Committee, this sets a high bar to be cleared by UK negotiators by October 2018 - ahead of the “meaningful” vote by Parliament.

Their summary of points set out in the Report and to be agreed includes:

1.     “The border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland: must remain open with no physical infrastructure or any related checks and controls, as agreed in the Phase 1 Withdrawal Agreement;

2.     Crime and terrorism: arrangements must replicate current operational and practical cross-border cooperation - particularly continued involvement with Europol and the European Arrest Warrant and participation in the EU's information-sharing systems;

3.     Institutional and decision-making frameworks: must be identified to ensure that the UK is able fully to participate in foreign and security cooperation with the EU, to meet the challenges it shares with its EU27 neighbours;

4.     Trade in goods: there must be no tariffs on trade between the UK and the EU 27;

5.     Trade in goods: must continue to be conducted with no additional border or rules of origin checks that would delay the delivery of perishable or time-sensitive deliveries or impede the operation of cross-border supply chains;

6.     Trade in goods or services: no additional costs to businesses;

7.     Financial and broadcasting services: UK providers must be able to continue to sell their products into EU markets as at present;

8.     Financial and other services: UK providers should be able to retain automatically, or with minimal additional administration, their rights of establishment in the EU, and vice versa, where possible on the basis of mutual recognition of regulatory standard;

9.     Free flow of data between the UK and the EU: there must be no impediments;

10.  Immigration: any new arrangements set up between the UK and the EU must not act as an impediment to the movement of workers providing services across borders or to the recognition of their qualifications and their right to practise;

11.  Convergence with EU regulations: The UK must seek to maintain in all relevant areas in order to maximise access to European markets;

12.  European Medicines Agency, the European Aviation Safety Agency, and the European Chemicals Agency and in other agencies where there is a benefit to continuing co-operation: the UK's must have continued participation;

13.  Horizon 2020 programme, the Erasmus+ scheme, the Galileo project and in other space and research programmes: the UK must continue participation in order to support the work of our world-class academic institutions and the importance of cultural and educational exchange between the UK and the EU 27;

14.  All relevant air safety agreements and the Open Skies Agreement: the UK must  continue participation in to ensure no disruption to the existing level of direct flights;

15.  Access to European markets: the UK Government must ensure maximum access whilst agreeing reciprocal access to waters and a fairer allocation of fishing opportunities for the UK fishing industry.”

These tests are based on the Prime Minister's vision for our future outside the EU and the statement by the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, David Davis MP.  They have emphasised that any future deal would be at least as good as what we have now.

Hilary Benn: “It is vital that UK businesses are able to continue to trade freely and sell services into our largest market after we leave, without additional costs or burdens or a hard border in Northern Ireland, and that we maintain close co-operation on defence, security, data and information sharing and consumer safety.”

The 70 page report concludes that: “should negotiations on a 'deep and special partnership' not prove successful, EFTA/EEA membership remains an alternative which would have the advantage of continuity of access for UK services and could also be negotiated relatively quickly."

You can get a copy of the full report – or schedule a briefing on a focused impact analysis for your industry sector – by contacting us at

Alternatively, pre-book an appointment to meet a member of the team at Going Global, Excel, London on 16 or 17 May 2018.