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On 27 February 2020, the UK government published a position paper outlining its priorities and approach for negotiations on its future relationship with the EU. The UK is looking to finalise a Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with zero tariffs and quotas on goods, based on existing EU models such as Canada, Japan and South Korea. This would be supplemented by a range of other international agreements eg on fisheries, nuclear cooperation, law enforcement and judicial cooperation. This would be supported by various technical and other processes for instance on data protection adequacy, financial services equivalence and civil judicial cooperation. Central to the UK position is the rejection of the EU’s proposals on level playing field, centralised governance and enforced dynamic alignment with EU rules, regulations and institutions, including the Court of Justice. With talks due to start from 2 March 2020, Richard Eccles, Partner at Bird & Bird, and Professor Adam Cygan of the University of Leicester consider some of the potential flashpoints ahead.
Formal negotiations are set to begin from 2 March 2020. Subject to terms of reference agreed for the negotiations, it is expected that talks on all the relevant topics will be run in parallel. Particular focus will be given to progress in areas with the highest risk of disruption if no agreement is reached at the end of the transition period.
The government has promised to ‘keep Parliament fully informed about the negotiations and colleagues will be able to scrutinise our progress in the normal way’. The EU has promised ‘full transparency’, as it did in the withdrawal negotiations.
• HM Government—The Future Relationship with the EU The UK’s Approach to Negotiations
• HM Government—Our future relationship with the EU: Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster's statement to Parliament
• Hansard, House of Commons, 27 February 2020—European Union: Future Relationship
• European Commission—Future EU-UK Partnership: Question and Answers on the negotiating directives
• Speech by Michel Barnier to the students at ESCP Europe: Cooperation in the Age of Brexit
• Scottish Government—UK mandate will hit Scotland’s economy
• Welsh Government—Written Statement: Welsh Government’s analysis of the UK Government’s negotiating mandate for the Future Relationship with the EU
For further detail, see: LNB News 27/02/2020 80.
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