January 29, 2020 / 7:45 AM / 20 days ago

Britain must accept EU standards if it wants to maintain free market access - Germany's Maas

BERLIN, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Britain will have to compromise on issues such as consumer rights and environment protection if it wants to maintain free access to the European Union’s single market, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Wednesday.

“By the end of the year, we need to be clear on the shape of our relationship,” Mass wrote in a guest article in German weekly Die Zeit in reference to the post-Brexit transition period.

“So let me say very openly: Yes, we all want zero tariffs and zero trade barriers, but that also means zero dumping and zero unfair competition. Without similar standards to protect our workers, our consumers and the environment, there can be no full access to the largest single market in the world.”

Britain and the European Union will therefore have to conduct the negotiations on their post-Brexit economic relations in a way that “won’t harm the European Union”, Maas said. (Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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