The British government will not accept the EU imposing its choices on the environment, labor law or state aid.
British Brexit negotiator David Frost has been clear: he will not allow the European Union to impose certain rules on the environment, labor law or state aid in his future relationship with the continent, he warned on Monday.
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“It is essential for us to be able to establish laws that suit us, to claim the right that any other non-EU country in the world has,” said David Frost during a speech at the Free University of Brussels (ULB).
“It is not just a negotiating position which could change under pressure. It is the very objective of the whole project,” insisted the negotiator from the United Kingdom, who entered since his leaving the EU on December 31 in a transitional period until the end of the year.
Free trade Agreement
David Frost’s eagerly awaited speech comes at a time when EU member states are drawing up a mandate for their own negotiator, Michel Barnier, setting their objectives and their red lines in the negotiations. Europeans want the United Kingdom to commit to the future relationship to respect the same rules as the EU, or even to adapt to it “over time” in several areas (environment, competition, taxation, labor law …) in order to avoid distortions of competition, in exchange for privileged access to the European market.
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These guarantees seem essential to Europeans given the geographic and economic proximity of the United Kingdom. The EU would also like the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to keep the last word to interpret Union law in the event of a dispute between London and Brussels.
“To think that we could accept EU supervision over so-called equal conditions of competition [“level playing field”]is not understanding the value of what we do, “commented David Frost.” How would you react if the UK demanded that, in order to protect itself, the EU dynamically harmonizes with our national laws made in Westminster and the decisions of our own regulators and courts? “he asked.
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David Frost recalled that London hoped to conclude a free trade agreement of the same type as those recently negotiated by the EU with Canada or Japan. “In short, all we want is for the benefit of other independent countries,” he said.
“If it is therefore true, as our friends in the Commission and the 27 have told us, that the EU wants a lasting and viable relationship (…), the only way to progress is to rely on this approach of a relationship of equals, “he concluded. Negotiations between London and Brussels are expected to start in early March and be completed by the end of the year.