This morning, EU member nations are finalizing their negotiating priorities for a future trade deal with the UK. The document is expected to be approved by EU ministers for European affairs. In London, Boris Johnson’s Cabinet is set to approve the British mandate, due to be published and presented to Parliament on Thursday.
Ministers are likely to reiterate their desire for a deal with a couple of tariffs on products.
However, this arrangement was ruled from the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier in January.
The French politician asserted that, to attain such a deal, Britain has to take a “level playing field” on principles and standards – something Mr. Johnson has vowed not to do.
The Prime Minister claims there’s “no demand” to get a free trade deal which involves accepting EU rules on competition, subsidies, social protection, or the surroundings.
The debate is an indication that Britain is on course for a substantial clash with the bloc in the trade discussions – that will begin on March 2.
According to reports that are found, however, it appears that Brussels promised the first thing to the UK.
In 2017, senior European officials told the Financial Times that the EU prepared to present Britain have an agreement.
At the moment, the deal was a “fallback” plan, as Brussels was waiting for Theresa May to take the lead in proposing a new basis for connections.
One senior official operating on Brexit advised the publication, the EU side prepared to finally take the initiative based on the EU-Canada commerce deal.
The official said: “If the Commission sees that it’s not getting any clarity with this then it’s preparing a’take it or leave it’ proposal.
“This would be in case everything goes pear-shaped.”
The “plus” came from linked agreements on fisheries, aviation, security, and foreign policy, which aren’t contained in the Canada-EU agreement.
But, it isn’t clear if the former EU Council President also wanted the UK to sign up to “specific and effective” guarantees.
Lord David Owen, former Foreign Secretary and co-founder of the SDP, said how significant the change in the EU position is.
He said: “Primarily, the spokesman is Michel Barnier, but can it be Barnier himself is he under directions?
“If he is under instructions, the instructions are coming from Emmanuel Macron, that has told him he does not want a long negotiation and he’s not prepared to live with a Canada settlement.”
He explained: “It may be others, however. It may be Barnier studying the European Parliament’s view.
“But under Donald Tusk, the former President of the EU Council, the British people and the British Government were advised on many of occasions that a Canada-style arrangement was acceptable.
“Now we’re told it has been pulled and we live too near them to receive a Canada style deal.”
Lord Owen’s remarks came at an event organized by the London Grill Club in early February.
Talking in Paris a month, Mr Macron did urge Mr Barnier to be “cold blooded” throughout the upcoming relationship talks with the United Kingdom.
He explained: “It will be an intricate discussion which should be approached in cold blood by our negotiator Michel Barnier.”
Even the French President promised Mr Barnier must push to protect the EU’s financial interests, such as maintaining access to waters for fishermen.
He added: “The preservation of deep ties with the UK, namely on international policy and safety, and the defense of the interests of the EU.
“The UK needs a brief negotiation that finishes by the end of 2020, it will be around the UK to show during the discussion, flexibility that is in line with those ties to Europe and this ambitious schedule.”