British Brexit negotiator David Frost arrives for a meeting with British ambassador to the EU on October 8, 2019 in Brussels | Aris Oikonomou/AFP via Getty Images
UK Brexit negotiator: We’re not bluffing on not accepting EU rules
David Frost says breaking away from Brussels regulations ‘is the point of the whole project.’
Updated 2/17/20, 8:32 PM CET
The U.K.’s rejection of demands that it stay aligned with EU rules post Brexit is not a “negotiating position which might move under pressure,” but central to the government’s vision for the country beyond 2020, according to Britain’s chief negotiator David Frost.
In a rare speech in Brussels before the second phase of Brexit talks get underway next month, Frost will give a robust response to the EU’s red line on maintaining a so-called level playing field — the demand that London stays aligned to EU rules on environmental and labor protection, for example.
Laying out the EU’s position earlier this month, chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said that Brussels is willing to do a deal that includes zero-tariff and zero-quota access to the EU’s single market, but that it would come with conditions. “We need to make sure competition is and remains open and fair,” Barnier said.
In remarks briefed to journalists ahead of his lecture at the Université Libre de Bruxelles on Monday evening, Frost says staying aligned with EU rules would defeat the point of Brexit.
“We bring to the negotiations not some clever tactical positioning but the fundamentals of what it means to be an independent country.