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'Mad David, Brexit Road': UK Slams European Commission's 'Cancer' Scenario

21 February 2018

While talking to business leaders in Austria today, the Brexit Secretary will try to reassure critics that they are mistaken to think Britain will focus on deregulation after it leaves the trading bloc, and how United Kingdom hopes that "mutual recognition" of regulations will continue after Brexit.

For all of David Davis's support on the Eurosceptic Conservative backbenches, his critics routinely question whether the Brexit Secretary is up to the job - and even suggest he might be driving Britain into a Mad Max-style dystopian future.

Brexit secretary David Davis will tell a business audience in Vienna that Britain and the European Union should seek mutual recognition of regulations rather than full convergence.

That the United Kingdom is free to start negotiating new trade deals with non-EU countries immediately after Brexit in March 2019, and that any "implementation period" doesn't restrict the UK's ability to do so.

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The speech by Mr Davis was the latest by a political big hitter as the Government attempts to flesh out what it calls "the road to Brexit", and follows on from Boris Johnson's arcane call to unite around a single vision, and Theresa May outlining the future relationship Britain wants to have with the EU.

The statement, the clearest yet that the United Kingdom does not consider the £39 billion sum of liabilities a done deal, is likely to enrage Brussels - where officials were extremely unimpressed after Mr Davis suggested the deal was not legally binding late a year ago.

Keir Starmer, Brexit Shadow Secretary for the main opposition Labour Party, hit out at promises made by Davis in his speech about workers' rights and environmental protection, commenting: "it simply isn't worth the paper it is written on".

He will tell an audience of business leaders in Vienna that he is certain a good trade deal can be achieved in the ongoing Brexit negotiations.

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The Haltemprice and Howden MP said it is the interests of both sides to be able to continue to trust each other's regulations and the institutions that enforce them after Brexit.

'Such mutual recognition will naturally require close, even-handed co-operation between these authorities and a common set of principles to guide them, ' he said.

"This will be a crucial part of ensuring our future economic partnership is as open, and trade remains as frictionless, as possible", Davis said.

The Netherlands is the UK's third-largest trading partner when imports and exports are combined, and it stands to be among the worst-affected should Britain's trading relationship be radically altered after its European Union exit. Now that vehicle only has to undergo one series of approvals, in one country, to show that it meets the required regulatory standards.

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'Mad David, Brexit Road': UK Slams European Commission's 'Cancer' Scenario