Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove | Isabel Infantes/AFP via Getty Images
UK publishes Brexit trade mandate, warns it’s ready for no deal
‘We will not agree to any obligations for our laws to be aligned with the EU’s,’ document says.
Updated 2/27/20, 12:08 PM CET
LONDON — The U.K. Thursday unveiled its negotiating strategy for a trade deal with the EU — but warned that preparations to end the Brexit transition period without an agreement would begin immediately.
Downing Street’s document titled “The Future Relationship With the EU” lays out negotiating aims on things like fishing and financial services, as well as controversial “level playing field” rules, which would set out the extent to which the U.K. must align to EU regulations in exchange for market access.
Brussels wants Britain to agree to follow its laws on things like labor standards and environmental rights, to avoid being undercut by such a close neighbor. But the U.K., while insisting it will maintain high standards, wants full control over the future direction of its regulations, arguing other nations like Canada have full autonomy and that the geographical proximity between Britain and the EU is irrelevant.
“Whatever happens, the government will not negotiate any arrangement in which the U.K. does not have control over its own laws and political life,” the document reads. “That means that we will not agree to any obligations for our laws to be aligned with the EU’s or for the EU’s institutions, including the Court of Justice,