Chancellor Sajid Javid leaves Downing Street | Peter Summers/Getty Images
No alignment with EU rules after Brexit, says UK chancellor
Sajid Javid urges companies to ‘adjust’ to new reality.
Updated 1/18/20, 12:17 PM CET
Britain will have no alignment with EU rules post-Brexit, the U.K. chancellor said, urging companies to “adjust” to the new reality.
“There will not be alignment, we will not be a rule-taker, 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,” Sajid Javid told the Financial Times in an interview published late Friday.
The chancellor’s words may make uncomfortable reading for U.K. business in sectors such as aerospace, automotive, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, which cautioned in October that diverging from EU regulations could pose “serious risk to manufacturing competitiveness.”
Javid’s pledge also risks a clash with the EU, which insists that any future trade deal with the U.K. must include a strong commitment to a level playing field, meaning that Britain must remain aligned to EU environmental, social and competition standards.
However, there is potential to diverge on other standards such as food safety or other product regulations — such as for cars — with the risk that those products could no longer be exported into the EU, or that supply chains are interrupted.
But the chancellor sought to dismiss such risks: “Japan sells cars to the EU but they don’t follow EU rules,” he said,