What Britain wants from the EU on trade

FILE PHOTO: Participants hold a British Union flag and an EU flag during a pro-EU referendum event at Parliament Square in London

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain unveiled a tough negotiating mandate for talks with the European Union on Thursday, underlining its desire for future economic and political independence that pits London on a collision course with Brussels.

Here are some key sections from the mandate document:


The two sides have until June to get what London's negotiating team called "the broad outline of an agreement" to be finalised by September, otherwise Britain would head for an Australian-style agreement, a looser trading arrangement.


Britain said it wants "legally binding" obligations on access to the European Union financial market coupled with arrangements for maintaining trust as rules evolve.

A trade deal with the bloc should provide a "predictable, transparent and business-friendly environment" for cross-border financial services activities, Britain said.

"The agreement should include legally binding obligations on market access and fair competition," the document said.

Britain also said it wants arrangements to allow regulators on both sides to cooperate and build "enduring" that can deal with rules as they "evolve".

The mandate says that Britain has left the bloc with the same rules as in the EU, thereby providing a "strong basis" for concluding the assessments on time.


"The agreement should ensure that the UK and EUs state owned enterprise operate in a fair and transparent manner and do not discriminate against businesses in the other party when buying and selling on commercial markets," the document said.

"These provisions should apply to business enterprises where the state has significant control through full, majority or minority ownership."


"The agreement should include provisions on good regulatory practice and regulatory cooperation, in relation to business activities," the document said.

"They should include reciprocal commitments to regulation-making processes that are robust, transparent, evidence-based and proportionate, and ensure that regulatory burdens are kept to a minimum."


Britain wants its trade agreement with the European Union to include commitments not to weaken protections on labour laws and standards.

"The agreement should include reciprocal commitments not to weaken or reduce the level of protection afforded by labour laws and standards in order to encourage trade and investment," the document said.

"The agreement should recognise the right of each party to set its labour priorities and adopt or modify its labour laws."

Britain also said it should not be required to follow EU standards and the agreement with the EU should not constrain its tax sovereignty in any way.


Britain wants to a separate agreement on fishing alongside its free trade deal with the European Union, with annual negotiations on dividing up the total catch.

The government said the agreement must respect Britain's status as an independent coastal state from the end of this year, and cover access to UK and EU waters, fishing opportunities and future cooperation on fisheries management.

"Fishing opportunities should be negotiated annually based on the best available science for shared stocks," the document said.

Britain said it would no longer accept the existing "relative stability" mechanism for sharing fishing quotas as it was outdated. Instead the government wants to use the principal of zonal attachment which it said better reflects where fish live and is the basis for the EU's fisheries agreement with Norway.

(Reporting by William James; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)