Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including the EU agreeing its negotiating mandate for the post-Brexit trade talks with the UK, and the Guardian’s Labour leadership hustings in Manchester 1.44pm GMT Here is the full text (pdf) of the negotiating mandate agreed by the EU for the trade talks with the UK. It has been toughened up a bit since a draft version (pdf) was published earlier this month.The UK has not published its own negotiating mandate yet – it is due out on Thursday – but we already have a pretty clear idea of what it will say, partly because of what Boris Johnson said in his Brexit speech in Greenwich and partly because of what Johnson said the same day in a written ministerial statement.Given the union and the United Kingdom’s geographic proximity and economic interdependence, the envisaged partnership must ensure open and fair competition, encompassing robust commitments to ensure a level playing field. These commitments should be commensurate with the scope and depth of the overall envisaged partnership and the economic connectedness of the parties. These commitments should prevent distortions of trade and unfair competitive advantages so as to ensure a sustainable and long-lasting relationship between the parties. To that end, the envisaged agreement should uphold common high standards, and corresponding high standards over time with union standards as a reference point, in the areas of state aid, competition, state-owned enterprises, social and employment standards, environmental standards, climate change, relevant tax matters and other regulatory measures and practices in these areas. In so doing, the agreement should rely on appropriate and relevant union and international standards. It should include for each of those areas adequate mechanisms to ensure effective implementation domestically, enforcement and dispute settlement, including appropriate remedies. The union should also have the possibility to apply autonomous, including interim, measures to react quickly to disruptions of the equal conditions of competition in relevant areas, with union standards as a reference point.Any agreement must respect the sovereignty of both parties and the autonomy of our legal orders. It cannot therefore include any regulatory alignment …There is no need for a free trade agreement to involve accepting EU rules on competition policy, subsidies, social protection, the environment, or anything similar any more than the EU should be obliged to accept UK rules.The UK will maintain the highest standards in these areas – better, in many respects, than those of the EU – without the compulsion of a treaty.The UK’s primary objective in the negotiations is to ensure that we restore our economic and political independence on 1 January 2021.Besides the cooperation on conservation, management and regulation, the objective of the provisions on fisheries should be to uphold union fishing activities. In particular, it should aim to avoid economic dislocation for union fishermen that have been engaged in fishing activities in the United Kingdom waters.To reach this objective, the provisions on fisheries should uphold existing reciprocal access conditions, quota shares and the traditional activity of the Union fleet, and therefore:
We are ready to consider an agreement on fisheries, but it must reflect the fact that the UK will be an independent coastal state at the end of this year 2020, controlling our own waters.And under such an agreement, there would be annual negotiations with the EU, using the latest scientific data, ensuring that British fishing grounds are first and foremost for British boats. 12.47pm GMT This is from Ursula von der Leyen, the European commission president.✅ Mandate approved. Ready to go. Negotiations with the #UK will begin the week of 2nd March.
We stand ready to build a close, ambitious partnership with the UK. This is good for people, good for business. #NewBeginnings Continue reading…
Source link : https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2020/feb/25/brexit-eu-mandate-trade-talks-ministers-meet-to-agree-negotiating-mandate-for-trade-talks-with-uk-live-news
Author : Andrew Sparrow
Publish date : 2020-02-25 13:48:40
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