Boris Johnson has become “privately infuriated” with what he sees as the EU’s attempts to frustrate a comprehensive free trade deal, the Sunday Telegraph has revealed.
“The Prime Minister believes Brussels has unilaterally been “changing the terms” of the deal he agreed last year, when both sides set out to work towards an ambitious and deep trade agreement. As a result the UK is no longer wedded to a Canada-style agreement, in what would be a major hardening in the Government’s Brexit strategy.
“Downing Street negotiators are now willing to pursue a much “looser” trade deal while simultaneously signing agreements with countries that make up 13 per cent of the world’s GDP.
“A government source said “There are only two likely outcomes in negotiation – a free trade deal like Canada or a looser arrangement like Australia – and we are happy to pursue both”.
“An Australian-style deal would allow both sides to cherry pick which areas of the economy they can agree on, and leave the rest to World Trade Organisation rules.
“In a speech to business leaders, ambassadors and think tank representatives in London, he will say the UK must be treated as an “equal” and make clear there will be “no alignment, no jurisdiction of the European courts, and no concessions” with Brussels.
“The speech will come just as EU leaders set out their draft strategy ahead of a tense 11 months of negotiations before the post-Brexit implementation period agreed between London and Brussels comes to an end on Dec 31.
“In a week when the UK formally begins talks at the WTO in its own right, the Sunday Telegraph has learned Mr Johnson has a two year plan to sign global deals to give the UK access to markets worth trillions of pounds by the end of next year. A trade deal is ear-marked to be agreed with Japan by Christmas followed by more agreements with Australia and New Zealand in the middle of next year.
“The ultimate aim is for the UK to accede to membership of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) – a group of 11 nations including Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Singapore, the third largest free-trade area after North America and the EU.
Crawford Falconer, the UK’s lead trade negotiator,
has already amassed a team of 700 lawyers and experts at the Department for International Trade, with £110billion-worth of trade deals ready to be rolled over when the UK exits the implementation period on Dec 31 this year.
“In his speech Mr Johnson will also make clear that “the EU can no longer prevent us from speaking or intervening in ways that are in line with our national interest” now that the UK has joined the World Trade Organisation in its own right.
“He will also raise up Glasgow and Liverpool
as examples of cities set to benefit from increased trans-Atlantic trade, spreading trading opportunities around the country”.