Brexit: Chequers vs Canada Plus

UK EU Flag Brexit

Brexit is the only thing people are talking about. Theresa May’s Chequers deal created a considerable amount of Brexit discourse. Numerous Conservative MPs will not support it; meaning Chequers would fail. In Parliament, the political parties formed a heated environment with outrageous hyperbole. Time to look at facts by comparing May’s Chequers verse the Canada Plus plans.


Control of the borders is one of the central planks of Brexit. Presently, EU citizens can move freely from one EU country to another. Can you blame someone for wanting to move from former communist Poland to the UK?

Chequers allows EU citizens freedom of movement until the end of the transition period. At that point, Chequers is a blank page. May does not have a new UK immigration policy. Do the EU citizens have to leave? Can they stay under a special immigration visa?

The Canada Plus plan permits the UK complete control over their immigration policy. The downside is restrictions on access to the EU market.

Theresa May Sitting on Brexit Cartoon


Unelected bodies in Brussels decide most of the EU regulations. The loss of sovereignty concerns British citizens. The UK is one of the oldest democracies in the world. The British fought World Wars to keep it! They have no intention of turning over their sovereignty to Brussels bureaucrats.

Under the Chequers plan, the UK continues to follow EU regulations on goods and agriculture. If the UK ignores any of the EU regulations, there would be “consequences” imposed by Brussels.

Canada Plus gives the UK the option to change trade regulations as it wants to. There would be a “mutual recognition” of cross-border trade. Ideally, this trade arrangement would work seamlessly with minimal friction on the border.

Free Trade

The world is moving towards more free trade or lower tariffs. Being shut out of the global economic system is not in the UK’s best interests. It is one thing to want the UK to maintain its freedom but shutting down its borders to free trade has dire economic consequences. The UK needs free trade deals outside of Europe to flourish.

Chequers keeps the UK in the EU Customs Union. However, non-EU countries see the confines of the EU Customs Union as a hamper to doing independent deals with the UK.

The UK leaves the EU Customs Union under the Canada Plus deal. The UK does not need to follow the EU Customs Union rules. Without the EU rules constriction, the UK has enormous flexibility to create its trade deals. A new EU trade agreement negotiation would need to happen. The new agreement could be like the Norway or CETA trade deals.

Brexit Instructions Cartoon


Controlling your own country’s laws is a fundamental part of being a sovereign nation. Currently, the European Court of Justice supersedes the British judiciary. The British people have laws created for them by the European bench. For a sovereign nation, this situation is unacceptable.

May’s Chequers deal removes the “direct jurisdiction” of the European Court of Justice on the UK. The British judiciary follows the prior European judiciary rulings with “due regard” when making future rulings, but they are not binding.

Many countries use a Joint Committee to resolve legal problems, and the Canada Plus plan does exactly that. A Joint Committee provides determinations to any legal issues with binding decisions.


Hopefully, this article created some clarity about the differences between the Chequers and Canada Plus Brexit plans. No matter what happens, we are in for a bumpy ride!

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