UK Draft Negotiating Documents Published
05/19/2020The U.K. government has published a letter from U.K. chief negotiator David Frost to EU counterpart Michel Barnier and U.K. draft legal texts of the proposed U.K.-EU Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, as well as other agreements and schedules. The documents set out the U.K. government's position on the future U.K.-EU relationship. In the letter, key points on the U.K.'s position are made. These are:
- The U.K. is seeking to conclude a suite of agreements with the EU with an FTA at the core, all of which are based on precedent agreements that the EU has with other countries. The U.K. is not seeking to remain in the Single Market or the Customs Union.
- The EU's drafts do not include the same text as that agreed with other countries. For example, the EU is not proposing to replicate the inclusion of provisions on regulatory cooperation for financial services that are agreed between the EU and Japan.
- The EU proposals are unaligned with the commitment made by both parties to maintain a level playing field. For example, the EU is proposing that the U.K. accept EU state aid rules and be subject to tariffs on trade if those rules were to be breached.
As regards financial services access between the EU and U.K., the U.K. proposal is that each side should remain able to impose restrictions on access of firms, including only allowing access on a "reverse solicitation" basis. Any pre-existing third country access restrictions are expressly preserved and permitted. There would, however, be a commitment not to have quotas in place. It seems possible, based upon news reports, that further financial services proposals may have been tabled but it is not yet clear what those are.
View the letter to M. Barnier.
View the U.K.'s draft CFTA.
View the U.K.'s other draft agreements and annexes.
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