EU’s Michel Barnier Rebuffs UK Brexit Negotiator’s Demands for Canada-Style Agreement

BRC report calls for solutions to UK food retail imports from the EU

So the United Kingdom is pushing for something off the shelf, like the EU-Canada trade deal, which abolished most tariffs and made inroads into services, but which would still involve a significant degree of trade friction.

It would remove tariffs and quotas, but do little to remove regulatory and bureaucratic barriers to trade, or facilitate the cross-border trade in services.

The EU wants the United Kingdom to sign up to strict rules on fair and open competition - known as level-playing-field guarantees - so if British companies are given tariff-free access to the EU market, they can not undercut their rivals.

David Frost is expected to set out the UK's stance ahead of post-Brexit trade negotiations, due to start next month.

It comes as France warns Britain to expect a bruising battle during talks.

Britain will develop its own system for regulating state aid and controlling subsidies after its post-Brexit transition period is over, London's negotiator for the long-term relationship with the European Union said on Monday (17 February).

Speaking in Brussels on Thursday, Mr Frost said the United Kingdom "must have the ability to set laws that suit us" and not be subject to rulings from European courts.

"To think that we might accept European Union supervision on so-called level-playing field issues simply fails to see the point of what we are doing".

"That's also why we will not extend the transition beyond the end of this year".


On January 1, 2021, he said, "we recover our political and economic independence in full - why would we want to postpone it?"

Says we are not ready to compromise on fundamental parts of our negotiating position.

The EU's draft negotiating mandate published earlier this month had sought non-regression from the United Kingdom on environmental, social and workers standards and "dynamic alignment" with Brussels's state aid and competition rules.

It also wants the European Court of Justice to have a legal role in policing any free trade agreement reached.

"But that is part of negotiations, everyone will defend their own interests".

Sadiq Khan has begged the European Union to grant pro-Remain Britons "associate citizenship" of the bloc so they can continue to enjoy the benefits of free movement despite Brexit.

After arriving at the European Parliament, he refuted Frost's claims that agreeing to comply with the EU's rulebook in a trade deal would be undemocratic, saying: "Truly not".

Speaking at a security conference in Munich, Mr Le Drian said the two sides were far apart on a range of issues.

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