Taxand Ireland analyses the key issues for business arising from Theresa May’s announcement of key elements of the UK’s negotiating position.


After months of uncertainty about what the UK will seek in negotiations on its departure from the EU, on 17 January 2017, the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, announced the UK’s twelve main negotiation objectives namely:


  • Provide maximum certainty throughout the exit process
  • Regain control over laws and withdraw from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ)
  • Strengthen the Union between the different components of the UK
  • Preserve the Common Travel Area with Ireland
  • Control the number of EU migrants
  • Agree an early guarantee of the rights of EU citizens in Britain and British citizens in the EU
  • Protect and build on existing workers’ rights
  • Conclude a comprehensive UK/EU free trade agreement – with the UK outside the Single Market but with a UK/EU customs arrangement
  • Pursue new UK free trade relationships across the globe
  • Cooperate with the EU on science, research and technology
  • Cooperate with the EU in foreign affairs, defence and combatting terrorism and crime
  • Agree appropriate transitional exit arrangements

Discover more: Brexit business briefing January 2017

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Taxand's Take

These twelve objectives represent the UK’s opening negotiation position, but it is unlikely that all of these objectives will be achieved. Unfortunately there will continue to be much uncertainty surrounding the UK’s relationship post-Brexit, not just with the EU, but with other major trading blocs also. However it does seem increasingly likely that the UK is heading for a so called hard Brexit.

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Article tags

International Tax | Ireland

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