Author: JAKOB HANKE
The EU will make a free trade agreement with the U.K. contingent on guarantees that Britain will adhere to certain “fiscal, social and environmental” standards after Brexit.
Any free trade agreement with the U.K. “must ensure a level playing field in terms of competition and state aid, and must encompass safeguards against unfair competitive advantages through, inter alia, fiscal, social and environmental dumping,” the EU said in its draft negotiating guidelines published Friday by Council President Donald Tusk.
From last year, British officials have threatened the EU with the so-called “Singapore model” and said that they would turn the U.K. into a low-tax, low-regulation offshore haven after Brexit if EU leaders refused the U.K. access to the single market.
In the draft guidelines, the EU today also conceded that it would be willing to start work on a free trade deal before Britain’s departure from the EU, saying that “the European Council stands ready to initiate work towards such an agreement, to be finalized and concluded once the United Kingdom is no longer a Member State.”