We are giving effect to the democratic decision of the people of the UK and will represent everyone in the negotiations, whether they voted Leave or Remain. Our shared values, interests and ambitions can – and must – bring us together as a country.

The Prime Minister has set out a bold and ambitious vision for our future relationship with the EU. The Florence speech gave reassurance to EU citizens living here, proposed new economic and security partnerships and a strictly time-limited implementation period.

We are continuing to publish our position papers, and a set of future partnership papers; on the new deep and special partnership the UK wants to build with the EU.


The UK-EU Agreement


Citizens’ rights  

Throughout this process, the Prime Minister has said that there needs to be reciprocal protections for British citizens living in the EU and for EU citizens living in the UK. This is what this deal delivers.

  • In the UK, EU citizens’ rights will be upheld by implementing the agreement into our law, instead of continued EU law enforced by the EU courts, as the EU first asked for. The compulsory jurisdiction of the ECJ will have ended.


  • Our courts can choose to ask the ECJ for a legal view on the law in relation to citizens’ rights where there is a point of law that has not arisen before – but our Courts will make the final judgements on each case, not the ECJ.


  • In practical terms, if the past is a guide we would not expect this to happen very often – it currently happens for two or three cases a year in this area of law. And this ability will be strictly confined to those citizens’ rights as exercised under the withdrawal agreement by EU citizens who were settled here before we leave the EU, and will not extend in any way beyond that. And there is an 8-year sunset clause in any case – at the end of which even this voluntary mechanism will come to an end and we will, once again, be in total control of our own laws.


  • In short, the ability of our courts to ask the ECJ for a view will be voluntary, very narrowly defined, and time limited.


Financial settlement


  • The Prime Minister has continually said that we are a country that honours its obligations. As part of that we have agreed a fair settlement of commitments we’ve made while a member of the EU, in the spirit of our future partnership.


  • Following a rigorous assessment by our negotiators of claims made on the EU side, we expect the settlement to come in significantly below many of the initial projections.  All of this is money that we would have paid anyway had we stayed in the EU.


  • As we leave, and we pay off our commitments, this means there will be significant sums to spend on our priorities, including the NHS, which would otherwise have gone to the EU.


  • This offer is made in the spirit of our future partnership, and depends upon a broader agreement being reached. Of course, nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, and if there is no agreement then our offer falls away too.


8th March 2018

Karen was pleased to take part in the Brexit meeting at Chequers the other week and welcomed the Prime Minister’s speech last Friday where she set out the Government’s ambitious but credible vision for the future economic partnership the UK is seeking with the EU, delivering on what the British people voted for and taking back control of our laws, borders and money.


The Prime Minister set out five tests for our future partnership with the EU


    1. Respect the result of the referendum;
    2. Be an enduring agreement;
    3. Protect people’s jobs and security;
    4. Deliver an outcome consistent with the kind of country we want to be;
    5. Strengthen our Union of nations and bring our country back together.


The existing models for co-operation between the EU and a third country would not pass these tests, and therefore would not work for the UK or the EU. The UK will instead seek the broadest and deepest possible agreement – covering more sectors and co-operating more fully than any Free Trade Agreement anywhere in the world today.


The Prime Minister concluded her speech by saying: My message to our friends in Europe is clear. We know what we want. We understand your principles. We have a shared interest in getting this right. Let’s get on with it.’



To read the Prime Minister’s Speech please see…


17th May 2018

Many residents In Staffordshire Moorlands have contacted Karen about the Customs Union.

Karen commented,

"I have always been clear that we are leaving the EU and that means leaving the Customs Union and the Single Market.

As Northern Ireland Secretary, I am working with Cabinet colleagues to find the best solution for the whole of the UK."