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Brexit negotiator says UK must be able to set its own laws

Desk Report: The UK “must have the ability to set laws that suit us,” the PM’s chief Brexit negotiator has said in a speech in Brussels.

David Frost has set out the UK’s stance ahead of post-Brexit trade negotiations, due to start next month.

He dismissed the idea an EU court would have a role in future trade disputes, saying: “We only want what other independent countries have.”

It comes as France warns Britain to expect a bruising battle during talks.

Acting Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey said: “Boris Johnson should listen to the views of British businesses who want to maintain the closest possible alignment with the European Union.”

Addressing students and academics at the Université libre de Bruxelles, Mr Frost said: “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.

“So to think that we might accept EU supervision on so-called level playing field issues simply fails to see the point of what we are doing.”

He said this was not a “a simple negotiating position which might move under pressure – it is the point of the whole project”.

The UK wants a Canada-type free trade agreement with the EU, Mr Frost said. If this cannot be agreed, then Britain will trade on the basic international terms it currently follows with Australia.

He said the UK will set out more details of its vision for the future relationship with the EU next week.

Mr Frost also reiterated the government’s insistence that it will not extend the transition period beyond the end of this year.

The transition period runs until 31 December 2020, during which time the UK continues follow EU rules – including freedom of movement.

It is intended to allow time for the UK and the EU to agree a post-Brexit trade agreement.

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