The BBC’s Political Editor has indicated Boris Johnson could further align the UK to the withdrawal agreement by continuing to pay into the EU budget and follow EU rules beyond transition period on December 31. The UK and the EU are already at loggerheads over the finer details of its future relationship with the application of a “level playing field” on trade proving a major hurdle. The Prime Minister in his first speech since Brexit day, stressed the UK would seek a Canada-style free-trade deal with the bloc, without accepting EU rules.
Mr Johnson said: “There is no need for a free trade agreement to involve accepting EU rules on competition policies, subsidies, social protection, the environment or anything similar, any more than the EU should be obliged to accept UK rules
“The UK will maintain the highest standards in these areas, better in many respects than those of the EU, without the compulsion of a treaty.”
Mr Johnson also confirmed that if a Canada-style agreement was not possible, he would be prepared to walk away without a trade deal - and suggested a Australian style deal could be possible.
Ms Kuenssberg has insisted despite Mr Johnson’s commitments, the UK could prolong the “status quo” with the bloc.
She said: “One former minister suggests waspishly that by suggesting we could leave with a relationship just based on the Withdrawal Agreement, that the Government has already got its capitulation in early.
“Under their interpretation, just basing it on the Withdrawal Agreement would mean prolonging the status quo of the transition period, where we pay into the budget and follow the EU rules.
“This, of course, is the opposite to what the government says it is after.
“But these trade talks will go through many, many machinations and on both sides, smoke and mirrors may apply.”
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8.40am update: Hammond says Brexit is about ‘damage limitation’ to UK economy
Former Chancellor Philip Hammond has reignited his ‘Project Fear’ rhetoric by insisting Brexit is about “damage limitation” to the UK economy.
The Arch-Remainer and former Tory minister told The Telegraph: "People will pillory me for this but it is about damage limitation, there will be a cost to the economy for leaving the European Union, I don’t care who argues against me, that’s just a fact.
"There may be political benefits but there will be an economic cost.
“But if we get it right it can be quite a small economic cost and we’ll soon get over it.
“Get it wrong and it will be a big economic cost with a systemic impact."