U.K. Sees Close EU Ties Post-Brexit With Similar Rules Enduring

(Bloomberg) -- The U.K. set out its goals for the post-Brexit economic partnership with the European Union, calling for the future trade deal to break new ground and allow mutual recognition of each other’s rules.

Reiterating much of what Prime Minister Theresa May has set out in her speeches, the presentation called for mutual market access for financial services and mutual recognition of rules on goods -- something the EU has already rejected. It’s prepared to keep “in step” with the bloc’s state aid and competition rules.

The U.K. is pushing for a relationship of equals, where each side recognizes the rules of the other and an independent oversight mechanism arbitrates disputes. But the EU’s approach has been a more unilateral one: it wants to maintain the right to decide whether the U.K.’s rules match its own, and that applies in areas from finance to data. For the EU, the U.K.’s decision to leave the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice -- albeit with some exceptions -- means mutual recognition isn’t an option.

The government is calling for regulatory cooperation to demonstrate that “our rules are substantially similar -- identical or equivalent in outcomes.”

The U.K. also recognizes that “a balanced set of commitments to underpin a fair and open trading environment” will be needed. The EU often raises concerns about the U.K. trying to undercut the bloc on regulation after it leaves, and wants to maintain a level playing field.

“Binding commitments that go further than those in a standard FTA should be in return for commensurate levels of market access,” according to the presentation, which was released as the future relationship was discussed by negotiators in the latest round of talks in Brussels.

It also calls for:

  • a framework that allows businesses and professionals to travel to provide services
  • continuity of air, maritime and rail services with rights of hauliers protected
  • mutual recognition of broadcasters
  • robust provisions to resolve differences
  • a new customs arrangement

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