A detailed White Paper will be published by the government on Brexit in June, ahead of a key European Union summit.

The 100-plus page paper is set to include “detailed, ambitious and precise explanations” of the UK’s positions on various issues to do with leaving the EU, according to comments made by Brexit Secretary, David Davis, as reported on the BBC.

Issues such as aviation, medicines, the law, financial services and fisheries are expected to be included in the paper.

Customs options

It should also make clear which model of customs the UK wants after leaving the EU. The government is considering two models – a customs partnership model, in which the UK would collect taxes on behalf of the EU, and a “maximum facilitation” option, which would seek to use technology instead.

According to evidence given by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to the Treasury Select Committee, the customs partnership model would cost UK business around £3.4bn a year, whilst the maximum facilitation model could cost businesses up to £20bn each year, for an estimated 200 million customs clearances. Both models could take up to five years to fully implement after Brexit, says HMRC.

If neither of these two models can be agreed, it is understood that a “backstop” solution would see the UK match EU tariffs after the end of the transitional period on 31 December 2020.

The paper will form part of ongoing negotiations with Brussels ahead of a political declaration in the autumn.

Back in March, David Davis unveiled the Brexit Treaty so far, with the sections agreed with the EU highlighted in green. Around 80% of the 129-page document is agreed.

The UK government is aiming to settle the outstanding issues by October, when the agreement is meant to be submitted to the European Parliament.

For more information, check out our Brexit page and/or contact one of our Brexit specialists.

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