Today, the latest round of negotiations with the EU will begin and, as the Prime Minister made clear yesterday, we will not compromise on what it means to be an independent and sovereign nation just to secure an agreement.
- We will make clear to the EU that we must make progress this week if we are to reach an agreement in time. We have now been talking for six months and can no longer afford to go over well-trodden ground. We need to see more realism from the EU about our status as an independent country.
- Throughout, we have listened carefully to our EU counterparts, signalled flexibility where possible to move the talks forward, and tabled new proposals to make progress. But we have repeatedly made clear that key elements of our position derive from the fundamentals of being a sovereign state, and it’s time for the EU to fully recognise this reality.
- If they can’t do that in the very limited time we have left then we will be trading on terms like those the EU has with Australia, and we are ramping up our preparations for the end of the year.
- There is still time to reach a good agreement and we hope progress can be made.
Tomorrow, we will introduce the UK Internal Market Bill to Parliament, to ensure businesses across the whole country continue to enjoy seamless internal trade when we leave the EU transition period.
- The UK’s internal market has functioned seamlessly for centuries. As the transition period ends, we will ensure the most successful union of nations in the world continues to thrive. We are delivering on our manifesto commitment to ensure unfettered trade across the United Kingdom.
- The UK Internal Market Bill will mean more powers for all parts of the UK and ensure businesses can continue to trade across our country as they do now, avoiding new burdens and barriers in order to protect jobs and support our recovery from coronavirus.
- The Bill will ensure we can continue to cooperate across the UK to overcome coronavirus together, while preserving the frictionless trade which is essential to our economic recovery.
Today, the Housing Secretary has launched our £12 billion affordable homes programme, helping more people to get on the housing ladder, while helping the country to build back better after coronavirus.
- As part of our mission to level up every part of our United Kingdom, we are determined to extend the dream of home ownership to as many people as possible.
- In total, we will invest £12.2 billion in affordable housing between now and 2026, providing up to 180,000 new homes across the country. Around half of the new homes will be available for affordable home ownership, with the rest made available for discounted rent. Councils, housing associations and private providers will this week be invited to start preparing their bids under the programme.
- Thanks to these actions, more families across the country will be able to realise their dreams of owning their home, while we provide a vital boost to the construction industry, creating more jobs, as we build back better from coronavirus.