She should announce that she is today instructing all Whitehall departments to prepare full steam ahead for a move to a WTO type trading arrangement with the EU from March 2019 and that this is now our base case scenario. She should confirm that we will now only seek a Canada style free trade deal in respect of goods and agricultural produce, which the EU has consistently said is on the table. She should confirm that the timetable can thus be shortened to reaching a Heads of Terms by the end of June to be signed by the end of September.
Since this Canada style arrangement can be agreed quickly, there is no need for an implementation or transition period, which thus makes everyone’s tasks easier. She can confirm that faster focus is required on other technical arrangements such as Open Skies, nuclear and medicines with a view to these being ready at the same time.
On the Irish border question, the Prime Minister should remind her audience that all parties have long agreed on the need to retain a frictionless soft border. She must highlight the EU Parliament’s own commissioned report by Lars Karlsson, a former director of the World Customs Organisition “Smart borders 2.0” produced in November 2017. This clearly states “In developing a solution for the Irish border, there is an opportunity to develop a friction-free border building on international standards and best practices, technology and insights from other jurisdictions.”