Chief Brexit negotiator outlines the UK's position ahead of next month's talks.
David Frost, the PM's Europe Adviser and Head of Taskforce Europe, set out the key themes of the UK's negotiating position during a speech at the Université Libre de Bruxelles on 17 February.
The main takeaway from Mr Frost's talk is that the UK will not accept regulatory alignment with the EU. He noted that the point of Brexit would "be defeated" if the EU maintained some supervisory oversight over the setting of British standards. This is a position that "will not move under pressure", despite overtures from the EU, which wants to see a 'level playing field' that will ensure fair and open competition. Brussels also envisages a future where the European Court of Justice has a part to play in regulating the terms of the UK's future relationship with the EU.
Mr Frost reiterated recent rhetoric from the PM which sets out the UK's ambition to secure a Canadian-style comprehensive free trade agreement: failure to secure this will result in the UK trading with the EU on World Trade Organisation Most Favoured Nation (MFN) terms, a relationship that is being referred to as an 'Australian-style agreement.'
He also said that the UK will not extend the transition period past its current deadline of 31 January 2020.
More details from both the UK and EU are expected in the coming week, before both sides get down to business in early March.