Published: Wed, February 19, 2020
Markets | By Otis Pena

Londoners 'heartbroken' by Brexit should keep European Union citizenship, Sadiq Khan says

Londoners 'heartbroken' by Brexit should keep European Union citizenship, Sadiq Khan says

The UK "must have the ability to set laws that suit us", the PM's chief Brexit negotiator will say in a speech in Brussels.

So the United Kingdom is pushing for something off the shelf, like the EU-Canada trade deal, which abolished most tariffs and made inroads into services, but which would still involve a significant degree of trade friction.

The EU has said it wants the best possible trade relationship with the United Kingdom, but only if there is a level playing field for businesses on anything from state subsidies to environmental standards, and is insisting on clear checks to enforce it.

It's not a good thing that we continue to discuss the future relationship as if the United Kingdom and Europe are living on two different planets.

They aim to agree by the end of the year a deal that would cover a raft of issues from trade to security to fishing to space and environmental cooperation.

The British Museum in London has refused to return the Parthenon Marbles, 2,500-year-old sculptures that British diplomat Lord Elgin removed from Athens in the early 19th century when Greece was under Ottoman Turkish rule.

"It isn't a simple negotiating position which might move under pressure - it is the point of the whole project", Frost said of Brexit.

The EU does not have a free trade agreement with Australia, and so such an arrangement would effectively be a trade relationship governed by World Trade Organization rules. A stand-still transition period keeping most arrangements in place - which the United Kingdom has ruled out extending - runs until the end of December.

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Changes from a previous version of the mandate included the strengthening of the so-called level playing field provisions.

The hardline tone taken by Frost ostensibly riled Verhofstadt, who was adamant that the United Kingdom and European Union do not diverge too heavily because in reality their markets were close "physically, geographically".

It also wants the European Court of Justice to have a legal role in policing any free trade agreement reached.

The landing zone for the future EU-UK trade relationship has never been clearer.

The comments came after French foreign minister Jean-Yves le Drian predicted a bruising battle in the lead up to a post-Brexit deal.

"But that is part of negotiations, everyone will defend their own interests", he added.

These included a zero-tariff trade deal, cooperation with the European Union to minimise trade friction, coordination on Value-Added Tax, customers and excise procedures, advance information on new checks and paperwork and timely construction of necessary infrastructure at United Kingdom ports.

Following Boris Johnson's speech in Greenwich there was a view in Brussels that, despite the posturing, there were signals between the lines that the two sides may not be that far apart.

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