EU to push for ‘association agreement’ as UK insists on green divergence

The European Commission’s top Brexit negotiator is reported to be calling for a future UK-EU trade deal to be tied into a broader association agreement that will secure environmental standards in order to maintain a level playing field.

Michel Barnier made the comments during a briefing to member state representatives on Wednesday, according to press reports.

It quotes an EU source as saying: “This is not about keeping the UK hostage. The EU has completely accepted the UK is leaving and will have regulatory autonomy and diverge … We know and understand that’s the whole purpose of Brexit. But we need to make the deal work and ensure it doesn’t crash on impact.”

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