EYEAFRICA TV: London, UK: The British government has published a document listing out its priorities during trade negotiations with the European Union on Thursday, stating that the United Kingdom seeks to reach a comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU, but has warned that it may withdraw from the negotiations in June depending on the progress.
The UK and the EU are about to start post-Brexit trade talks on March 2, which means that at the end of this year, the UK may still advocate for the end of the Brexit transition period without any bilateral trade agreement.
In this about 30-page document, the British government stated that the UK is committed to clarifying the general framework of the trade agreement by June after several rounds of negotiations, and wants to finalize the agreement quickly before September.
If the negotiations do not go as expected by June, the government will need to decide whether its attention should be shifted from negotiations to preparations for an orderly exit from the transition period.
The British government reiterated that it will conduct all-round trade negotiations as an independent sovereign state with the EU, and that the EU legal and judicial decisions will no longer be valid in the UK.
The government also emphasized that the UK hopes to reach a comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU, which is similar to the agreement between the EU and Canada, covering almost all trade. Japan and South Korea also hold similar trade agreements with the EU.
The EU had initially published a 46-page document of the same kind on Monday before the UK issued its document on trade negotiations.
The EU hopes that the UK will still adopt the EU laws and criteria in industrial standards, environmental protection and labor rights after Brexit, which have been rejected by the UK.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that the main reason of Brexit is to be able to deal with the EU in a different and better way.