David Davis: UK will diverge from EU trade rules

Former Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis | Leon Neal/Getty Images

David Davis: UK will diverge from EU trade rules

The EU does not want Britain to undercut the single market


12/16/19, 12:19 PM CET

Updated 12/16/19, 12:25 PM CET

LONDON — Prime Minister Boris Johnson will diverge from EU trade rules once the U.K. leaves the bloc, especially in emerging industries, former Brexit Secretary David Davis said.

The ex-Cabinet minister, who quit his job alongside Johnson last year in protest at the deal Theresa May proposed with Brussels, said the prime minister would use the Conservatives’ 80-seat majority to push through his Brexit vision.

“The negotiating hand Boris has is much stronger, that is just an objective fact,” Davis told the BBC’s Today program. “The second objective fact is that Boris himself does want to diverge. I lived with him in Cabinet. We resigned within days of each other because we both wanted divergence.”

Davis predicted only minor divergence in existing industries, such as car manufacturing, as global rules are already similar and there would be little benefit to a radical rejection of EU regulations. But on emerging industries he expected the U.K. to go much further.

He said it was areas such as artificial intelligence, genetics and other biological sciences “where we are strong leaders in the world that is why we need to control that.”

On Friday, European Council President Charles Michel said at the end of an EU leaders summit in Brussels that,

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