(11 February 2019) Prime Minister May issued a response to Corbyn’s letter that set the terms for Labour backing the Withdrawal Agreement. While dismissing the solution of a UK-wide customs union, May’s response touched upon environmental protection and worker’s rights.
She reiterated that Brexit will not come at the expense of lowered standards and thus recalled the non-regression commitment made in the Protocol on Ireland (Part 2, Article 2). May suggested that legislation can be prepared to give force to this in the UK legal framework, but that automatically following EU norms in these areas could not be supported by the UK government. She proposed instead to give the UK Parliament a say on future EU changes in standards. Maintaining a close relationship in heavily regulated areas was also mentioned in the letter, which would imply participation in ECHA’s proceedings, as already alluded to in the Political Declaration.