Johnson says ‘No need’ for EU rules for post-Brexit trade deal

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivering an address in London on February 3, 2020. © REUTERS

Britain does not need to accept the European Union’s rules to strike a comprehensive free trade deal with the bloc, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday, adding that the choice was either a Canada or Australia-style accord.

“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,” Johnson said.

“Are we going to insist that the EU does everything that we do as the price of free trade? Are we? Of course not,” Johnson said in a speech in London.

“We want a comprehensive free trade agreement similar to Canada’s but in the unlikely event that we do not succeed then our trade will have to be based on our existing withdrawal agreement with the EU,” Johnson said.

“Let’s be clear the choice is emphatically not deal or no deal, we have a deal,” he said.