|The future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union|
|Created||12 July 2018|
House of Commons Library|
|Author(s)||Government of the United Kingdom|
|Purpose||To lay out the relationship that the UK proposes to have with the European Union after Brexit.|
The Chequers Agreement is the informal name for The future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union, a government white paper published on 12 July 2018 by the Government of the United Kingdom under Prime Minister, Theresa May. It lays out the type of relationship the UK seeks to have with the European Union after Brexit. The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union (Brexit Secretary), Dominic Raab, described it as a "detailed proposal for a principled, pragmatic and ambitious future partnership between the UK and the EU." He also stated that "The white paper proposes a free trade area for goods to maintain frictionless trade, supported by a common rulebook and a new facilitated customs arrangement, but only for the rules that are necessary to provide frictionless trade at the border."
The White Paper is split into four chapters: economic partnership, security, cooperation and institutional arrangements.
David Davis, Brexit Secretary at the time of the Chequers meeting, resigned over the Agreement on 8 July, as the next day did his Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Steve Baker, and the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson.
On 18 July 2018, Boris Johnson delivered his resignation speech to the House of Commons. In his speech he avoided personal attacks on Theresa May, although he asserted that ministers were "saying one thing to the EU about what we are really doing, and pretending another to the electorate". Instead of adhering to the Lancaster House Vision set out in January 2017, Johnson said, "a fog of self doubt [had] descended" and that the government "burned through negotiating capital". He later added that "it is not too late to save Brexit. We have time in these negotiations. We have changed tack once and we can change once again". The speech received notable attention, with many noting its similarities to the 1990 resignation speech of Sir Geoffrey Howe as Deputy Prime Minister, which contributed to the resignation of Margaret Thatcher. Laura Kuenssberg of the BBC noted the seriousness of the speech, stating that "it's the first Boris Johnson speech that I can remember watching that didn't have any jokes", while Jacob Rees-Mogg, a pro-Brexit MP and leader of the European Research Group, praised the speech, describing it as "the speech of a statesman".
Johnson continues to speak out against Theresa May and the Chequers Agreement through both writings and the spoken word, including a weekly column in The Daily Telegraph and one in The Mail on Sunday, where he recently wrote in response to the EU's chief negotiator. He said, "We have wrapped a suicide vest around the British constitution and handed the detonator to Michel Barnier."
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