Ambition of EU-UK deal depends on regulatory alignment: EU's Barnier

FILE PHOTO: The European Commission Brexit chief negotiator Michel Barnier speaks during the Web Summit in Lisbon Portugal, November 5, 2019. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union’s willingness to offer a comprehensive free trade agreement to Britain after Brexit will depend on how ready Britain is to maintain EU standards and regulations, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator said on Wednesday.

“The United Kingdom will leave the union. We respect this choice. Clearly it is not leaving Europe. Does it want to distance itself and to what extent from our regulatory model?” Michel Barnier told the European Parliament.

“And it’s this question that is put and the answer given by the United Kingdom that will determine the level of our ambition,” he continued.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop