The UK will need to go further than Canada in its commitments to the European Union if it wants to trade without tariffs and quotas, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen warned, further raising the temperature with Britain before negotiations on the future relationship even start.
In a direct, personal response to the speech by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London last week, the EU’s top official said the trading relationship she believes the U.K. is striving for is more ambitious than the regularly cited Canada model because of the “unique” level of access Britain would have to the bloc’s single market.
Johnson’s speech in Greenwich last week was “encouraging,” Von der Leyen said, but added that the prime minister needs to go further than mere “ambition” on standards in areas such as rights for workers and parents, the environment and rules on government subsidies.
“This is what we also want,” von der Leyen told the European Parliament on Tuesday in Strasbourg, France. “Let us formally agree on these objectives.” [...]
“Our deal with Canada eliminates tariffs on a wide set of goods, but not on all,” von der Leyen said. “Our deal with Canada eliminates most quotas, but certainly not all.”
She poured scorn on describing the EU’s trading relationship with Australia as a possible model for the U.K. “The European Union does not have a trade deal with Australia -- we’re currently trading on WTO terms,” she said.
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Speech by President von der Leyen in the Plenary of the European Parliament at the debate on the Commission's proposal for a mandate for the negotiation of a new partnership with the United Kingdom
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