The prime minister is said to be planning on distancing the UK from EU rules and diluting workers’ rights and environmental protections after he delivers Brexit. This has raised concerns among member states, especially Germany, that Britain will become a low-tax, lightly-regulated economy which would pose a threat to the European community. The leaked report seen by the Financial Times comes from the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU).
It said the wording of the drafted commitments on rights for workers and protections for the environment contained in the political declaration left “room for interpretation”.
The document said “UK negotiators successfully resisted the inclusion of all UK-wide level playing-filed rules” in Theresa May’s deal.
Officials at the Brexit ministry wrote that the UK’s and EU’s “interpretation of these commitments will be very different”, and that the text represented a “much more open starting point for future relationship negotiations”.
Business secretary Andrea Leadsom has rejected the story, describing it as “not correct”.
Angela Merkel fears the UK will become a tough trade competitor after Brexit(Image: GETTY)
Mr Johnson is calling for a general election in D ecember(Image: GETTY)
She said Britain “will maintain highest standards of workers rights and environmental standards when we leave the EU”.
The leak comes just weeks after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said “a potential competitor will emerge for us” as she forecast how dynamics would change post-Brexit.
Brussels has said it is likely to impose trade barriers to prevent unfair competition if the UK introduces rules which are not similar to the bloc’s.
Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn seized on the leaked report, saying: “These documents confirm our worst fears.”
Mrs Merkel is said to fear the emergence of a lightly-regulated post-Brexit UK(Image: GETTY)
He added: “Boris Johnson’s Brexit is a blueprint for a deregulated economy, which will see vital rights and protections torn up . ”
When asked about the leak during an interview on BBC News, business minister Kwasi Kwarteng said it would not be in the government interests to water down workers’ rights.
He said: “I think this is completely mad, actually.
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The Labor leader is refusing to back an election until no-deal is off the table(Image: GETTY)
The leaked report suggested Mr Johnson wanted to turn the UK into a low-tax nation(Image: GETTY)
“You’ve said how we built a coalition – 19 Labor MPs have come with us and voted for a second reading. ”
“It wouldn’t make any sense at all to dilute workers’ rights in building that coalition to land the bill.
Ms Leadsom denied the government wanted to turn the UK into a low-tax nation(Image: EXPRESS)
“We have said we will be better than our word. We have said our ambition on securing workers’ rights will be stronger than the provision of the bill. ”
Mr Kwarteng admitted the chances of Britain leaving the EU next week had reduced.
Mr Corbyn said the leaked document confirmed Labor’s worst fears(Image: GETTY)
Under the terms of Mr Johnson’s revised deal, only Northern Ireland will be obliged to continue to follow rules similar to those in the EU, and the rest of the UK can diverge if it is willing to accept greater barriers to trade with the bloc.
Most economists think preserving trade ties with the EU should be a priority after Brexit, and see few obvious gains from significantly different regulation.