UK PM says "no need" for London to follow EU rules on trade

UK PM says

PanARMENIAN.Net - UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set out his vision for a trade deal with the EU, saying there is "no need" for the UK to follow Brussels' rules, the BBC says.

The PM called for a Canada-style free trade deal, saying the UK would return to the Withdrawal Agreement if such a deal was not reached.

But the EU's Michel Barnier said its "ambitious" trade deal offer required a "level playing field".

Barnier also said there should be reciprocal access to fishing waters.

Under the EU-Canada deal, import tariffs on most goods have been eliminated between the two countries, though there are still customs and VAT checks.

The flow of services, such as banking - which is much more important for the UK - between Canada and the EU are much more restricted.

Johnson used his speech on "unleashing Britain's potential" to raise the prospect of the UK reverting to World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms if EU chiefs refuse to sign off on a Canada-style free trade agreement.

In his speech in Greenwich, London, the PM said: "We have often been told that we must choose between full access to the EU market, along with accepting its rules and courts on the Norway model, or an ambitious free trade agreement, which opens up markets and avoids the full panoply of EU regulation, on the example of Canada.

"We have made our choice - we want a free trade agreement, similar to Canada's but in the very unlikely event that we do not succeed, then our trade will have to be based on our existing Withdrawal Agreement with the EU.

"The choice is emphatically not 'deal or no deal'. The question is whether we agree a trading relationship with the EU comparable to Canada's - or more like Australia's.

"In either case, I have no doubt that Britain will prosper mightily."

The European Commission has published its draft negotiating mandate with three components: general arrangements, economic arrangements and security arrangements.

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has said negotiations would be "hard and fair and fast" but that the closer the UK wanted to be to the bloc, the more of its common rules it would have to abide by.

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