British government issues “mandate” for trade negotiation talks with EU

Giant wharf cranes in container terminal

Giant wharf cranes in container terminal

Even as the European Union and the British government embarked on trade negotiations in the aftermath of Brexit, the latter thrust the onus back upon the EU. The British government said that if the talks between the two parties were not progressing well, it would walk away from a trade deal instead of being a signatory.

The Boris Johnson-led government has stipulated a June 2020 deadline to map the progression of the negotiation. Great Britain is in the transition period up to December 2020, following its December 2019 exit from the EU after 47 years.

Michael Gove, the cabinet office minister proclaimed this “mandate” of his government on the floor of the parliament. He said, “At the end of the transition period on the 31st of December, the United Kingdom will fully recover its economic and political independence. We want the best possible trading relationship with the EU, but in pursuit of a deal we will not trade away our sovereignty.”

In a seeming response to Gove, EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier tweeted that the EU had taken cognisance of the British government’s decision. However, he added, “We will stick to all our prior commitments in the political declaration. We want an ambitious and fair partnership with the UK in the future.”

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