Boris Johnson ditches promises made with the EU for level playing field to set out his own vision of trade deal


BORIS Johnson will tomorrow abandon a series of Brexit promises made with the EU as he sets out his own vision for a trade deal.

Insisting Britain must be a fully sovereign nation above all, the PM will junk joint commitments made with Europes leaders to abide by the same level playing field of government rules.

Boris Johnson sets his own vision of a trade deal and insists Britain should make its own rules as long as they provide ‘fair and open competition’ with the EU

The pledges from last October cover a wide range of policies, from state aid for failing companies to work place rules, environmental regulations and tax.

But No10 aides argue Boris believes he has won a new mandate from the British people with his general election victory in December to tear up the close alignment.

Instead, Mr Johnson will insist the UK must be free to make its own rules as long as they provide for fair and open competition with the EU.

The level playing field pledges were made in the non-legally binding Political Declaration that accompanied the exit deal.

Downing Street officials yesterday talked down the document as just “aspirations” that didn’t hold the status of an international agreement.

The PMs rejection of them will send tensions with Brussels spiralling further and open up the biggest stand-off on the talks.

The Prime minister will deliver the 40-page mandate to MPs in a Commons statement
The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier slammed the move

But No10 yesterday insisted Brussels was the first to break its promises from the October agreement, by leaving out key timelines next year for deals on financial services and data from its own negotiating mandate published on Tuesday.

The PMs official spokesman said: The PM has a clear mandate and a set of obligations from his manifesto. He is determined to deliver on those.

The 40 page-long negotiation blueprint will be laid out to MPs in a Commons statement delivered by Cabinet Office boss Michael Gove this morning.

Anticipating the move, the EUs chief negotiator Michel Barnier last night slammed the PM for moving back from the commitments he made to fair and free competition in his Brexit deal.

The Frenchman said he was worried by recent ministerial statements and suggested the UK has an attitude towards trade that is stuck in the 70s.

He said the bloc is offering Britain super preferential access to its markets – but that cannot be granted without a Level Playing Field.

In a speech to students, Mr Barnier said: Promises were made to cooperate with us, to make sure theres no form of unfair competition. The text in the Political Declaration needs to be properly respected and implemented to the letter in a legal framework.

In a softening of tone the Frenchman said he accepted Mr Johnsons insistence Britain will keep world-class standards after it leaves.

He said: I dont believe the UK will become some sort of Singapore-on-Thames. But that means it shouldnt be a problem for the UK to agree on a number of ground rules.