The Prime Minister is set to officially kick-off talks over the UK’s future relationship with the EU next month in order to strike a free-trade deal before the December 31 deadline. Boris Johnson has already informed Brussels that Britain is ready to “take back control” and is seeking Canada or Australian-style. The initial plan has already been knocked back by Brussels chiefs who are concerned over the strict timetable and the possibility of the UK undermining competition and the single market.
Ben Harris-Quinney, chairman of independent think-tank The Bow Group, has urged the Prime Minister to “take advantage” of the opportunity to trade simultaneously with the EU and the rest of the world.
Mr Harris-Quinney said as the UK can now trade with international markets it will “strengthen our hand” with Brussels.
The Chairman of The Bow Group said the access to new markets will also make the UK “less reliant” on securing an agreement with the bloc in just 11 months time.
Mr Harris-Quinney told Express.co.uk: “One of the most important things that occurred on January 31 was opening up the ability for Britain to begin trade negotiations with other countries.
“This is a huge opportunity for Britain to develop alternative trade arrangements that will make us ever less reliant on our relationship with the EU.
“Provided Britain can take advantage of this, it can not only strengthen our hand in negotiating with the EU but also better inform our process and what areas we should be emphasising.”
A trade deal with the UK and the US is one of the Government’s top priorities and Mr Harris-Quinney has said a trade agreement can “prove a massive and revolutionary boost”.
US President Donald Trump has constantly championed the prospect of a deal with the UK, insisting any agreement can be “far bigger and more lucrative” than any deal the EU can offer.
The political expert also outlined a number of other benefits of a deal with the US, including the ability to allow workers and students to travel to and from two countries.
He added: “The trade deal with the US will be one of the most important, and we have a willing partner in President Trump to see not only a great trade deal but also a successful Brexit process.
“One of the major problems with EU free movement was that only a tiny fraction of UK citizens speak a European language to a level of proficiency that would allow them to work or study within the EU.
“There are no such barriers with the US, and if we can achieve an open and comprehensive deal that allows our workers and students to move between the two countries.
“It could prove a massive and revolutionary boost to trade and opportunity that would see Britain thrive post-Brexit.”
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier have both insisted on a “level playing field” in relation to competition, the rule of law and the environment.
This proposal has already been widely rejected by Boris Johnson’s Brexit advisor David Frost.
Mr Frost insisted the UK will once again be an “independent country”, free from the shackles of Brussels, and will not accept control by the EU regulations.
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In a lecture in Brussels on Wednesday, Mr Frost said: “We bring to the negotiations not some clever tactical positioning but the fundamentals of what it means to be an independent country.
“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.
“It isn’t a simple negotiating position which might move under pressure – it is the point of the whole project.”
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