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Citing an internal EU document, Reuters’  Gabriela Baczynska recently reported that EU negotiators were ready to offer British Prime Minister Theresa May a free-trade area after Brexit and added: “contrary to her “Chequers” plan, there must be a customs border that will make trade less than frictionless.”

Key quotes

“The document – three pages of “defensive points” for EU officials to make against the British prime minister’s July proposal on future ties – quotes EU chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker on Sept. 12 saying that May’s push for UK goods to stay in the EU market under a “common rulebook” is an unacceptable bid to stay “only in parts of [the single market]you choose”.”

“The EU paper does go into some detail, concluding that Chequers would “give the UK an unfair competitive advantage”. It also stresses that officials “welcome… proposals to develop an ambitious new partnership” for which the Chequers proposal of a “free trade area” should be “the starting point”.”