Trade

UK publishes Brexit trade mandate, warns its ready for no deal

LONDON — The U.K. Thursday unveiled its negotiating strategy for a trade deal with the EU — but warned that preparations to end the Brexit transition period without an agreement would begin immediately.

Downing Streets document titled “The Future Relationship With the EU” lays out negotiating aims on things like fishing and financial services, as well as controversial “level playing field” rules, which would set out the extent to which the U.K. must align to EU regulations in exchange for market access.

Brussels wants Britain to agree to follow its laws on things like labor standards and environmental rights, to avoid being undercut by such a close neighbor. But the U.K., while insisting it will maintain high standards, wants full control over the future direction of its regulations, arguing other nations like Canada have full autonomy and that the geographical proximity between Britain and the EU is irrelevant.

“Whatever happens, the government will not negotiate any arrangement in which the U.K. does not have control over its own laws and political life,” the document reads. “That means that we will not agree to any obligations for our laws to be aligned with the EUs or for the EUs institutions, including the Court of Justice, to have any jurisdiction in the U.K.”

Speaking in the House of Commons, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said Britain is “confident that those negotiations will lead to outcomes which work for both the U.K. and the EU.”

The U.K. insists its approach to level playing field rules remains in line with the Political Declaration on the future relationship.

But he added that either way, when the transition period ends on December 31, 2020 the U.K. will “fully recover its economic and political independence,” adding: “In pursuit of a deal we will not trade away our sovereignty.”

The U.K. insists its approach to level playing field rules remains in line with the Political Declaration on the future relationship, agreed last October, and argues that the EU has over-interpreted a line that pledged “provisions ensuring a level playing field for open and fair competition.” It says the EU demands amount to Read More – Source