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EU sets out red lines as UK's Boris Johnson talks tough on trade deal

Christian Fernsby |
The EU made clear today that Britain could not expect a zero-tariffs and zero-quotas deal trade with the bloc unless London agrees to terms that ensure there is fair competition with the European single market.

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European Union Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, laying out his mandate for negotiations with the UK following its exit from the EU last week, said there should be a level playing field over the long term on social, state aid and environmental standards.

He told a news briefing that all sides needed to prepare for the prospect of a "cliff edge" no deal at the end of the year.

Barnier was speaking shortly before British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was due to will lay out his negotiating terms for talks with the EU. He is expected to say that Britain will prosper even if he cannot strike his preferred trade deal.

After marking Britain's departure from the EU at a party in his Downing Street residence on Friday, Johnson will use a speech to ram home his message that Brexit, for him, means that sovereignty trumps the economy.

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