Britain laid out its opening demands for the upcoming trade talks with the European Union on Thursday, including a blunt threat to walk away from the negotiating table if there is no progress within four months.
Two days after EU ministers approved their own joint approach to the negotiations, which start on Monday, PM Boris Johnson’s government set out its own red lines. The formal negotiating mandate says London wants to agree a relationship “based on friendly cooperation between sovereign equals” before the end of the post-Brexit transition period on December 31.
However, it warns: “We will not agree to any obligations for our laws to be aligned with the EU’s or for the EU’s institutions including the Court of Justice, to have any jurisdiction in the UK.” The document also states that if both sides have not been able to reach a “broad outline of an agreement” by June, then it would have to decide whether to walk away from the talks, AFP reported. Britain has the option of extending the transition beyond the end of 2020, but says it will not do so.
In its own negotiating mandate, the EU said Britain must mirror the bloc’s standards if it wants to continue freely trading its goods with the its huge single market.
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