Thank you for contacting me about the Government's objectives for leaving the EU.
The next few months will be a time of change for the country.
The Prime Minister has set out 12 negotiating objectives for Brexit, which I believe will help us achieve the right deal abroad and for the British people here at home.
Theresa May has also made clear that the Government will be seeking a new and equal partnership between an independent Britain and our allies in the EU. However, the country will not be seeking partial membership of the EU, associate membership, or anything that leaves Britain half-in and half-out.
The 12 objectives amount to one big goal: a new, positive and constructive partnership between Britain and the EU.
1. Certainty: whenever possible, the Government will provide certainty. The final deal agreed between the UK and EU will be put to a vote in both Houses of Parliament.
2. Control of our own laws: we will bring an end to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in Britain.
3. Strengthen the Union: we must strengthen the precious Union between the four nations of the United Kingdom. As powers are repatriated back to Britain, we will make sure that no new barriers to living and doing business within our Union are created.
4. Maintain the Common Travel Area with Ireland: the Government will work to deliver a practical solution that allows the maintenance of the Common Travel Area with the Republic of Ireland, while protecting the integrity of the United Kingdom's immigration system.
5. Control of immigration: the message before and during the referendum campaign was clear: Brexit must mean control of the number of people who come to Britain from Europe. We will continue to attract the brightest and the best to work or study in Britain but there must be control.
6. Rights for EU nationals in Britain, and British nationals in the EU: the Government wants to guarantee these rights as early as possible. It has told other EU leaders that we can offer EU nationals here this certainty, as long as this is reciprocated for British citizens in EU countries.
7. Protect workers' rights: as the body of European law is translated into our domestic regulations, we will ensure that workers' rights are fully protected and maintained.
8. Free trade with European markets: as a priority we will pursue a bold and ambitious Free Trade Agreement with the European Union. This agreement should allow for the freest possible trade in goods and services between Britain and EU member states.
9. New trade agreements with other countries: it is time for Britain to become a global trading nation, striking trade agreements around the world. We want to have a customs agreement with the EU and have an open mind on how we achieve this end.
10. The best place for science and innovation: we will continue to collaborate with our European partners on major science, research and technology initiatives.
11. Co-operation in the fight against crime and terrorism: we want our future relationship with the EU to include practical arrangements on matters of law enforcement and intelligence.
12. A smooth, orderly Brexit: we want to have reached an agreement about our future partnership by the time the two year Article 50 process has concluded. From that point onwards, we expect a phased process of implementation. We will work to avoid a disruptive cliff-edge.
I believe the objectives that make up the Government's plan to get the right deal for Britain will make a success of leaving the EU.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Updated: January 2017