European Council announced the mandate for chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier to open the negotiations for a new partnership with the UK after the Brexit transition period. Andreja Metelko-Zgombić, Croatian State Secretary for European Affairs, said, “This confirms our readiness to offer an ambitious, wide-ranging and balanced partnership to the UK for the benefit of both sides. The EU is now ready to start negotiations.”

In the announcement, EU said the future partnership “should be underpinned by robust commitments to ensure a level playing field for open and fair competition, given the EU and the UK’s geographic proximity and economic interdependence.” EU also intends to establish a free trade agreement which “ensures that zero tariffs and quotas apply to trade in goods.” The agreement should provide for “cooperation on customs and regulatory aspects”, and “include effective management and supervision, dispute settlement and enforcement arrangements.”

Full release here.

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