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UK Will Set Out EU Trade Objectives Next Month-Brexit Secretary

Britain will set out more details about its objectives for a free trade deal with the European Union next month after the country leaves the bloc on 31 January, Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay said.

"We are going to publish our objectives for the negotiation (...) in due course after the 31st," he told BBC television's Andrew Marr programme on Sunday.

At stake are the terms of trade from 2021, when an 11-month post-Brexit transition period is due to expire. Negotiations between London and Brussels are expected to start in March.

"The key issue is that we will have control of our rules, we will not be a rule taker, we will not diverge for the sake of diverging, we start from a position of alignment," Barclay said.

"But the key opportunity is that we will be able to set our standards, high standards, on worker's rights, on the environment, on state aid as part of that trade policy."

'Thrash out its Objectives'

The European Commission, which negotiates on behalf of the 27 remaining EU members, will thrash out its objectives next month before putting them to EU governments on 25 February. Negotiations are expected to start after that.

Barclay reiterated the UK's ambition to agree a "zero-tariff, zero-quota, broadly ambitious trade policy," with the European Union, while working to strike deals with other countries around the world, including the United States.

News by Reuters, edited by Checkout. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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