Johnson to reject any concessions and alignment from EU in first speech since Brexit

2 February 2020, 22:59 | Updated: 2 February 2020, 23:06

Johnson is expected to lay out his draft plans on Monday
Johnson is expected to lay out his draft plans on Monday. Picture: PA

Boris Johnson is expected to say he will reject any concessions to demands from Brussels in his first speech since taking the UK out of the European Union.

The prime minister will also refuse alignment and jurisdiction to European courts, and will say he is not afraid to put border checks in place.

He will then lay out his vision of a Canada-style trade deal with the EU, which would make way for tariff-free trade without touching the dominant services sector.

The speech, to be made on Monday at a building with "historic trade ties" in front of an audience of national and international businesses, marks the beginning of a negotiation process until its deadline in November.

Many experts have expressed concern that a final agreement could be reached in such a short time, but Mr Johnson is expected to assure that "no achievement lies beyond our reach".

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As the dust settles on a weekend of celebrations - or commiserations - across the UK over it's historic departure from the bloc, work has now begun on securing future trade partnerships further afield.

On Sunday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told Sky News he planned to travel to Japan and Australia next week to explore "global" post-Brexit deals.

Speaking about the Canada-style deal being a preferred option for the UK, he said: "We will want to co-operate and we expect the EU to follow through on their commitments to a Canada-style free trade agreement.

"That's what we are pursuing. There is a great opportunity here for a win-win."

Meanwhile, the EU is also expected to reveal its negotiating mandate on Monday - the same day as Mr Johnson's speech.

Brussels has so far called for the UK to agree to its environmental and social standards and rules on state subsidies.

According to the Observer, the territorial claims over Gibraltar may also be on the table in the EU's opening mandate.

Quoting a senior EU diplomat, it said the EU would be insisting the Rock is excluded from the future trading relationship unless permission from Spain is given.

Territorial claims for Gibraltar, which came under British sovereignty in 1713, have long inflamed diplomatic ties between the UK and Spain.

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