Brexit: EU ministers agree UK trade talks mandate

MINISTERS from the EU have approved their mandate for post-Brexit trade talks with the UK.

The document – approved by the EU General Affairs Council on Tuesday – will be the basis for the negotiations, to be carried out by the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

It says that EU standards should serve as “a reference point” in any future trade deal.

Meanwhile, UK ministers have agreed the government’s mandate for the negotiations, which begin on Monday. The final agreement is due to be published online and presented in Parliament on Thursday.

The EU’s mandate a 46-page document – says that its “envisaged agreement should uphold common high standards and corresponding high standards over time with Union standards as a reference point”.

It says this should apply “in the areas of state aid, competition, state-owned enterprises, social and employment standards, environmental standards, climate change, relevant tax matters and other regulatory measures and practices in these areas”.

Barnier warned there would be “complex, demanding negotiations” over a limited period of time, referring to the transition period that ends on 31 December

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