The United Kingdom will not become a "vassal state" of the EU regardless of the post-Brexit trade agreement reached with the 27, British negotiator David Frost said Saturday.
The UK left the EU on January 31, nearly four years after a historic referendum marking the end of almost 50 years of EU membership.
The country remains governed by EU rules until the end of the year as both sides try to define the terms of their future relationship.
Ahead of an eighth and final round of talks with the EU next week, Frost stressed in the Daily Mail that the UK was "not going to compromise on the fundamentals of having control over our own laws."
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"We are not going to accept provisions that give them control over our money or the way we can organise things here in the UK and that should not be controversial," he added.
"That's what being an independent country is about, that's what the British people voted for and that's what will happen at the end of the year, come what may."
Negotiations are tough, and time is running out on both sides to reach an agreement, since this agreement and the legal texts will have to be validated by the Member States and ratified by the European Parliament.
This stalemate has reinforced the fear of a Brexit without an agreement after December 31. However, Frost clarified that Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his ministers were not "afraid" of such a scenario.
"If we can reach an agreement that regulates trade like Canada's, great. If we can't, it will be an Australian-like trading agreement and we are fully ready for that," he said.
If no agreement is reached by December 31, the only rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), with their high tariffs and extensive customs controls, would apply to trade relations between them.
The Brussels Times