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Political analysts say Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s proposed Brexit trade deal is not going to be any different from the UK leaving the EU without a deal. Sam Lowe, a senior research fellow at the Centre for European Reform think tank, said: “From a business preparedness point of view, for many companies, there is little difference between preparing to exit the transition period with or without a free-trade agreement in place.”
While Politico.eu’s Charlie Cooper said the Tory leader’s proposed economic relationship with the Brussels bloc “really isn’t that different – in terms of the practical potential for short-term disruption – from a clean-break no deal”.
The 27 EU countries have long demanded so-called “level playing field” guarantees from Britain if it wants to continue selling goods freely in the bloc’s single market of 450 million people – after the UK’s standstill transition period following Brexit expires at the end of this year.
Without an agreement, trade and financial ties between the world’s fifth-largest economy and its biggest trading bloc would collapse overnight.
But Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government has refused to be bound by EU state aid rules, environmental standards or labour laws, saying the essence of Brexit was to let Britain decide alone on its own regulations.
The other significant sticking point is fishing rights in sea channels between the EU and Britain. But the bloc has previously signalled it was willing to compromise in that area as well should London shift as well.
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