Before initiating the post-Brexit trade talks with the European Union, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson shared his vision of 'unleashing UK's potential' on February 3. In a speech that was nearly half an hour, Johnson stressed the need for a 'comprehensive free-trade agreement' similar to the 'Canada-style' agreement with the EU.
He further denied settling into any trade accord which would require the UK to follow bloc's rules. Instead, British PM says that 'EU should be obliged' to follow Britain's rules as according to him, Britain is doing 'better' than the 27-nation-bloc in many ways.
Johnson said, “There is no need for a free-trade agreement to involve accepting EU rules on competition, policies, subsidies, social protection of environment or anything similar, any more than EU should be obliged to accept UK rules. The UK will maintain the highest and better standards in these areas than those of the EU without the compulsion of a treaty.”
Johnson also addressed the questions of a 'No-Deal' exit, to which he said there is an agreement while referring to the Withdrawl Agreement Bill. However, as per the trade relations with the EU are concerned, the British PM said that irrespective of business relations with the bloc, UK will 'continue to grow'. Johnson also mentioned his country's maternity laws, environmental actions, among other laws to law emphasis on the fact that the UK is 'far ahead' of the EU.
Johnson said the country has a team of experts and trade policy experts ready in place to forge deals. UK wants to establish trade deals with a majority of emerging economies, the African bloc, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, and the United States of America.
Furthermore, Johnson stated that he shared the optimism of President Trump. He even took on Anti-American naysayers telling them to 'grow up' and 'get a drip' as the US bought 20 per cent of UK manufactured goods. However, he also brought up the issues in US rules he wished to resolve, like going through 50 regulators to sell insurance, tariffs on whiskey. Furthermore, taking a jibe at anti-Tory campaigners who he labelled as conspiracy theorists, he emphatically added that "The NHS is not on the table."
Johnson also said that UK would not accept any dilution of food safety rules, and animal welfare rules while chasing a deal with the USA.
When Ottawa signed an agreement with the 27-nation-bloc, it reportedly had to abolish 98 per cent of duties and even opened investment opportunities for European companies in transport and finance.