UNITED KINGDOM (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Britain announced Thursday that it will not be bound to follow the laws of the European Union in any trade agreement after its exit from the union, and threatened not to hold talks in June if a settlement is not reached.
Two days after the European Union ministers approved their plan for the talks, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government has set its priorities for the talks starting Monday.
She threatened not to participate in the talks if the “outlines” of an agreement were not approved at the meeting scheduled for June.
The official negotiating rules document unveiled by the government on Thursday states that London wants to agree on a relationship “based on friendly cooperation between two sovereign entities” before the end of the transitional period that followed Brexit on December 31.
However, the document affirms, “We will not agree to any obligations that require that our laws comply with the laws of the European Union or that the institutions of the European Union, including the Court of Justice, have powers in the United Kingdom.”
The document also states that when Britain left the European Union on January 31, the two sides agreed on a pause, pending the creation of a new partnership that would replace 47 years of political and economic integration.
“We want the least possible trade relationship with the European Union, but in our endeavor to reach an agreement, we will not give up our sovereignty,” Government Secretary Michael Goff told parliament.
The European Commission, which is negotiating on behalf of the 27 European Union countries, said it was preparing for all scenarios.
“The commission has the ability and willingness to not reach an agreement after the outcome of these negotiations,” said spokeswoman Dana Cipnant.
She added that the June meeting “is an equitable time frame” to consider the possibility of reaching an agreement.
London has the option to extend the transition period beyond the end of 2020, but says it will not.
Therefore, she will decide in June “whether the UK’s attention will be diverted from the negotiations will focus only on continuing internal preparations to move out of the transition period in an orderly fashion.”
In the event that a new agreement is not reached with the European Union, Britain’s largest trading partner, this will cause great chaos on both sides of the channel.
– ground rules –
The negotiating laws laid down by the European Union stipulate that Britain must implement the EU standards if it is to continue free trade with the enormous common market of the Union.
But London says it will not link itself to the application of European Union laws, and that the main goal of its exit from the European Union is “to obtain economic and political independence.”
Johnson, who was recently elected on the promise of “completion of Brexit,” called for a more broad trade agreement along the lines of trade agreements between the union and Canada.
But Brussels says the geographical proximity with Britain and the strong economic ties that have formed over the past five decades of its membership in the Union, makes it a special case.
It fears that Britain will compete with the business sector in the European Union if it decides to cancel the costly obligations of the Union’s high standards for employment and the environment.
Brussels also wants to apply its laws on government aid in Britain indefinitely, which Britain flatly rejects.
Financial services are among other controversial issues between the two parties, and Britain wants to dissolve it by June to allow companies to continue operating in the European Union after December 31.
A European Commission spokeswoman declined to confirm that the European Union would complete parity assessments by June.
In the British Parliament, a number of politicians criticized the government’s rigidity.
“This is definitely a way not to reach an agreement – which is the real ambition of Brexit enthusiasts,” said Pitt Weishart of the Scottish National Party.
“We want to compete in the future, but it must be fair and free competition,” said European Union negotiator Michel Barnier at an event in the European Parliament on Wednesday.
“Britain should have no problem agreeing to a number of key rules,” he added.
Brussels also wants to retain the right to fish in British waters, which Britain has rejected despite warnings by the European Union that failure to agree to this could undermine broader trade talks.
But Britain stresses that it will be an independent coastal state starting in January next year and will not link the entry of British waters to the entry of European Union markets.
Instead, it proposes to negotiate fishing opportunities annually based on stock levels of fish.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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