Chancellor Doubles Down on UK Breaking Away from EU Regulations

Javid
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Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid has repeated the Conservative government’s position that the UK will diverge from EU regulations after the Brexit transition period.

Eurocrats and European leaders have told the UK that it would have to keep close alignment to Brussels rules, including on financial services, in order to secure a trade deal by the end of December 2020.

Speaking ahead of a meeting with European finance ministers in Brussels on Tuesday, Mr Javid said: “We have been very clear that as we leave the EU, we will not be in the single market, we will not be in the customs union. We will not be rule takers.”

“At the same time we want a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement and that’s what we are working on,” he added, in comments reported by The Telegraph.

The Chancellor had made similar comments to business leaders during an interview with the Financial Times last week, where he said that “there will not be alignment, we will not be a ruletaker, we will not be in the single market and we will not be in the customs union — and we will do this by the end of the year.”

While the UK is set to leave the EU on January 31st, the EU has already begun laying down threats of blocking a UK-EU trade deal unless the UK continues to comply by EU rules, which would become an impediment to the UK signing trade deals with other countries.

In recent weeks, the bloc’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has said that even if Brussels and London negotiators agree on a deal in principle, the EU27 may block the deal in the European Parliament unless the rights of EU citizens in the UK are ‘secured’, including the Independent Monitoring Authority having such powers as being able to take the government to court over perceived infringements on EU nationals’ rights.

The EU also reportedly wants to be able to impose a “penalty payment” on the UK for breaching terms of the prospective trade agreement, according to a European Commission “governance” document seen by Bloomberg News and reported on Monday. The document said that the “depth and content” of the deal “will determine the need for and nature of effective monitoring and compliance mechanisms”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman told the i newspaper: “We’ve not even started negotiations with the EU on our future relationship yet, but we’re clear that we want a Canada-style free-trade agreement. The PM has set out that our future UK-EU relationship should be based on friendly co-operation.”

“They should be thinking in terms of the Canada deal — the EU was fine with those terms then,” a government source added.

Cabinet ministers and the U.S. ambassador to the UK have urged Prime Minister Johnson to prioritise a U.S. trade deal to put pressure on the EU in negotiations.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, in Switzerland, on Tuesday, President Donald Trump said: “We look forward to negotiating a tremendous new deal with the United Kingdom.”

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