The European Parliament may veto any trade deal between the United Kingdom and the European Union that lacks strong safeguards in the field of fair competition, environment and workers’ rights, The Guardian reported on Wednesday, citing a leaked draft resolution that is expected to be put to a vote on Friday.
According to the newspaper, the document calls on the UK government to “revise its negotiation position”, noting that ensuring a level playing field — common standards on environment, workers’ rights and state subsidies for companies — is the key condition for Brussels to accept a trade deal.
Although EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier hinted last week at a possible concession regarding state aid, refusing to back EU’s initial demand for the UK to stipulate European rules in its law, the leaked document stated that all EU standards should be safeguarded in a trade deal to avoid a “race to the bottom”.
The United Kingdom officially left the European Union on 31 January, marking the completion of a political process that began in June 2016 when the UK voted to leave the bloc. A transition period is currently in effect until December 31, giving London and Brussels the required time to conclude a range of agreements, the most important of which is a wide-ranging free trade deal.
The fourth round of talks between the United Kingdom and the European Union on their future trade partnership ended on 5 June with no significant progress.