Britain will seek a Canadian-style free trade agreement with the EU
LONDON: Two days later, British officials pressured the European Union on Sunday for a Canadian-style free trade agreement as British prime minister Boris johnson prepared for a key speech to explain the negotiating position of your government.
The Foreign Secretary told Sky News that Britain will seek an agreement that imposes very few tariffs, although he said Britain will not seek to align its regulations with the EU.
We are retaking control of our laws, so we will not have a high alignment with the EU and a legislative alignment with its rules, Raab said. We want to cooperate and we hope that the EU will fulfill its commitments with a Canadian-style free trade agreement. That is what we are pursuing. Here is a great opportunity to win-win.
EU officials, despite offering friendly words to the British public during the weekend after the divorce that came into effect Friday night, warn that Canada only achieved the status of free trade in tariffs by aligning many of its rules with EU regulations. EU officials fear that the United Kingdom can dilute its environment or health and safety precautions, which undermines EU companies.
Business talks are vital because now that Britain has officially abandoned the block - the first nation to do so - Johnson hopes to have a new wide-ranging deal by the end of the year.
After celebrating Brexit hitting a gong in the last seconds before it takes effect, Johnson plans to detail Britain's trading stance in a speech on Monday.
The first battle lines have already been drawn in what will be a contentious process.
European leaders have said that Britain will not be able to reach an agreement like Canada's if it breaks significantly with EU standards on food safety, environmental standards, workers' rights and other matters that affect public welfare.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on Sunday urged Johnson's conservative government not to follow the mistakes of his predecessor by establishing `` rigid red lines '' that make it much harder to reach an agreement.
Varadkar did say he believes Johnson's reassurances that Britain ``will not seek to undercut`` the European Union when it comes to labor standards, environmental standards, product standards and health and safety.
`` I do not believe that the United Kingdom will try to participate in a race to the bottom on issues such as pay and workers' rights, etc. '' Varadkar told the BBC.
Britain will also start communicating with other countries about new trade agreements now that it is outside the EU, even though the EU rules remain in force for a transition period of 11 months. Raab plans trips to Australia this week to increase this effort.
Johnson spent the weekend out of the public eye before a week that will mark a turning point in his government, which won an important electoral victory in December. Officials must go from `` making Brexit '' - Johnson's campaign slogan - to get trade agreements and govern the country.
The first days of Brexit have passed without major incidents, but British police are investigating a sign in the Winchester Tower apartment block, warning residents that `` we do not tolerate people '' who speak a language other than English in building.
Norfolk police said they have confiscated copies of the poster, which has been removed, and is being treated as a `` racially aggravated '' incident. The signs were titled `` Happy Brexit Day. ''