Transitional arrangements for exiting the European Union Contents

1. Introduction

1.Before the referendum on 23 June 2016, the Treasury Committee in the last Parliament ran a major inquiry into the economic impact of EU membership.1 It continued its scrutiny of the UK’s future relationship with the EU after the referendum.2 This included a call for written evidence on the desirability and design of transitional arrangements.

2.The Committee in this Parliament has continued this work, launching on 20 October a wide-ranging inquiry covering four broad themes.3

3.This Report principally addresses the first two of these themes. It considers the importance of arrangements that take the UK from ‘Brexit day’ to its end-state relationship, and makes suggestions for how these should be designed. In order that these suggestions are as constructive as possible, it draws on both the evidence received in this Parliament and the last, and a close reading of Government and EU policies and negotiating priorities.

4.The UK is leaving the EU. The Government has said that it intends to give effect to this by leaving the EU Customs Union and Single Market. But the means by which this is achieved, and the likely end-state relationship between the two parties, remains uncertain. This Report is the first in what is intended to be a series that seeks to make constructive recommendations in these areas. It deals primarily with a specific, albeit important and urgent, point of process: how can the UK move from its position within the EU to its end-state relationship in a smooth and orderly way, particularly when that final relationship might not be fully agreed on 30 March 2019?

5.Equally important questions about what the UK’s long-term economic relationship with the EU might be, and the opportunities, risks and changes that will arise as a result of Brexit, will be addressed in future work.

1 Treasury Committee, First Report of Session 2016–17, Economic and financial costs and benefits of the UK’s EU membership, HC 122, 27 May 2016

2 Treasury Committee, Press release, 12 December 2016

3 Treasury Committee, Press release, 20 October 2017

13 December 2017