Londoners 'heartbroken' by Brexit should keep European Union citizenship, Sadiq Khan says

Clay Curtis
February 18, 2020

The French government has warned London to prepare for a bitter, bloody battle in the Brexit trade talks with the EU.

Addressing students and academics at the Université libre de Bruxelles, Mr Frost is expected to say: "It is central to our vision that we must have the ability to set laws that suit us - to claim the right that every other non-EU country in the world has".

Britain's chief negotiator on Monday set out a clashing course in trade talks with the European Union, saying the 27-nation bloc has totally missed the point of Brexit if it thinks it will retain some supervision over United Kingdom actions.

The United Kingdom will not be threatened into following European Union rules in the future by talk of economic rifts and is ready to trade with the bloc on basic worldwide terms if needs be, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Europe adviser said on Monday.

"It isn't a simple negotiating position which might move under pressure - it is the point of the whole project".

While the United Kingdom officially left the European Union on 31 January, it is now in a time-limited transition period that concludes at the end of 2020.

But nothing has yet changed because of a transition period due to last until the end of this year.

The speech came as a response to one delivered recently in London by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who called on Johnson to agree to so-called level playing field guarantees of fair competition based on ambitious environmental and labour standards.

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The EU has repeatedly warned that the United Kingdom can not expect to enjoy continued "high quality" market access if it insists on diverging from EU social and environmental standards.

It also wants the European Court of Justice to have a legal role in policing any free trade agreement reached.

The EU has said that the United Kingdom setting its own rules would be possible but would make a trade deal less advantageous.

The French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian yesterday bluntly said the two sides would "rip each other apart".

With such comments, Frost gave indications that Britain might be willing to walk away without an agreement rather than compromise on key issues.

David Frost's speech is either a real warning that a breakdown is very possibly before the end of the year, or an attempt at inflating the sovereignty issue to such an extent that if the European Union take a pragmatic approach it will be presented by the United Kingdom as a victory.

Following Boris Johnson's speech in Greenwich there was a view in Brussels that, despite the posturing, there were signals between the lines that the two sides may not be that far apart.

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