Brexit Withdrawal Agreement Level Playing Field

In 2017, following a UK referendum on Brexit, the EU warned that an “ambitious and far-reaching trade deal” would depend on “sufficient guarantees for a level playing field.” This is particularly different from EU trade agreements with Canada or Japan, where the agreements contain relatively limited provisions on a level playing field. Following the UK`s exit from the EU on 31 January 2020, the UK and the EU set negotiating targets for their future relations in February and began negotiations in March to reach agreement on their new partnership by the end of the year. Both the UK and the EU have submitted draft treaty texts. In parallel with this option, the agreement of the party accusing a breach of obligations could give the right to unilaterally take “appropriate corrective action” until the dispute is the case where the Joint Committee is unable to resolve the problem. The agreement could contain safeguards to protect the interests of the party accused of breaching its MPA obligations if they adversely affect the other party`s unilateral interim measures, and it will then be established that they were not at all responsible for an offence. There are two different areas – trade and investment – where unequal competitive conditions can lead to cross-border changes in activity, resulting in a loss from the initial expectations of a group (of companies, industrial sectors or workers) in a country that signs a trade agreement. The agreement could also provide for whether new regulatory measures or amendments introduced by both parties undermine open and fair competition and violate the obligation to maintain high common standards. These assessments could be carried out on the basis of benchmarks and economic forecasts. The EU insists that the `fair competition` agreement (LPF) be included, which would require the UK to maintain the convergence of legislation in areas such as state aid, competition, social and environmental standards. However, the UK insists it will not be a regular worker and government negotiators also insist on the UK`s regulatory autonomy. Commentators have suggested that some level playing field may be less controversial than others.

For example, at this stage, there is no indication that it will be difficult to reach agreement on issues of taxation and limitation of anti-competitive behaviour by companies. The government also said its policy was not to reduce labour standards, social and environmental standards or to change the rules. In these areas, the EU is not asking the UK to adopt new EU rules, but to maintain the current level of protection. However, while the EU focuses on fair competition, the UK insists on sovereignty. It is a disagreement that is part of the heart of Brexit. In addition to the withdrawal agreement, the UK and the EU have agreed on a political declaration (PD) outlining their joint commitment to an ambitious and comprehensive economic partnership. These include a free trade agreement and broader sectoral cooperation. It made a commitment to a “level playing field” to ensure “open and fair” competition, but the exact nature of the commitments “would correspond to the breadth and depth of future relationships.” One of the central themes of future negotiations is the search for agreement on commitments that could ensure a level playing field in trade relations between the two sides. This is seen as a subject that could either interrupt or interrupt negotiations. In just a few weeks, there will be disagreement not only on the rules, but also on how to resolve future disputes.


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