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Johnson lays out vision of trade ties with EU

Johnson lays out vision of trade ties with EU”

The government will enter a fresh round of talks with the European Union negotiating its future relationship with the bloc. In a speech to business leaders and global diplomats in London, Johnson plans to say "we want a free trade agreement", but not at any cost.

"The choice is emphatically not "deal or no deal".

That goes beyond the Canada-EU agreement, known as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA.

"We are ready to consider a deal on fisheries".

"The closer the United Kingdom wants to be, the easier the access to the single market". "It is always rights and obligations in a good balance".

Johnson invoked an 18th century British mural as an example of "supreme national self-confidence" before laying out his negotiating stance with the European Union during a speech at the Old Naval College in Greenwich. He delivered it in the Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich on the River Thames, a spot steeped in Britain's past military glories.

Johnson's speech was shorter on detail than his EU counterparts, but he played down the need for any assurances on the EU's demands, stating that "we are not leaving the EU to undermine EU standards, there will not be a ruthless race to the bottom, we will not engage in any kind of dumping", he said.

According to the Prime Minister's office, Johnson will come out swinging against the EU, saying that Britain has no more reason to meet EU standards on the environment or labour rights than the EU has to meet British ones.

"The U.K. can independently decide not to respect the rules", said France's Europe Minister Amelie de Montchalin before pointedly adding: "But when it passes the frontier, it concerns the place where it arrives".

Fishing access for European boats in British waters will be a key issue to solve, even though both parties have promised to reach an agreement before July 1.

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On Monday there were few surprises for trade experts, Mr. Lowe said, adding that serious progress in talks is unlikely before the fall. Brussels' chief negotiator Michel Barnier said all aspects of the envisaged agreement would not be completed within 11 months.

This totally contradicted the Political Agreement he signed along with the Withdrawal Agreement past year.

Laying out the enormous scale of the task ahead, senior officials at the European Commission, the bloc's executive, said there would be parallel negotiations with the British on 12 separate topics, culminating in an overarching deal.

If no agreement is reached, Britain would face a significant rupture to economic and other ties with the European Union when a transition period ends in December.

That prospect alarms many businesses, especially in sectors such as the auto industry, which depend on the easy flow of parts across borders.

"In either case, I have no doubt that Britain will prosper".

Barnier said: "The more we will have common standards, the higher quality access the European Union will be able to offer its markets".

He said: "Talk of a bare-bones deal could pause investment. We'll work to avoid that, but if we can't manage a deal by the end of the year there will be a cliff-edge on many fronts".

Johnson, however, brushed off the idea of a "no-deal" Brexit - though that is essentially what Australian-style trade means.

One word was noticeably missing from his wide-ranging speech: "Brexit". Asked whether he had banned the term, he said: "It's not banned".



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