UK warns won't accept EU-ruled 'level playing field'

| | Brussels
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UK warns won't accept EU-ruled 'level playing field'

Tuesday, 18 February 2020 | AFP | Brussels

UK warns won't accept EU-ruled 'level playing field'

Britain's trade negotiator warned Monday that his government would not accept EU supervision of its economy in exchange for close trade ties.

Senior diplomat Mark Frost told academics in Brussels that London intended to set its own laws following Brexit and not follow EU-imposed "level playing field" rules.

"It isn't a simple negotiating position which might move under pressure -- it is the point of the whole project," he said.

Frost's speech at the Free University of Brussels took place as EU member states were drawing up a mandate for their own negotiator, Michel Barnier.

Some capitals, in particular France, are pushing for a deal in which Britain would have to sign up to EU-supervised regulation in exchange for privileged access to the huge European single market.

But Frost, adding detail to the position championed by British prime minister Boris Johnson, said London wanted a typical trade deal of the kind Brussels signed with Canada.

"It is central to our vision that we must have the ability to set laws that suit us -- to claim the right that every other non-EU country in the world has," Frost said.

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


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