Sunak: no EU trade deal based on aligning laws

STORY: New UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has ruled out striking a trade deal with the EU based on aligning with the bloc’s laws.

He spoke Monday (November 21) to a gathering of business leaders:

"On trade, let me be unequivocal about this: under my leadership, the United Kingdom will not pursue any relationship with Europe that relies on alignment with EU laws. Now I voted for Brexit, I believe in Brexit, and I know that Brexit can deliver, and is already delivering, enormous benefits and opportunities for the country, migration being an immediate one where we have proper control of our borders.”

Sunak made the denial following weekend media reports.

The Sunday Times newspaper said a deal based on alignment was being considered.

It said that would be similar to the arrangement for Switzerland, which has access to the single market in return for adhering to certain budget conditions.

Some of Sunak’s Conservative lawmakers responded angrily, saying alignment would mean subservience to EU rules.

On Monday, the UK leader also promised further action on illegal migrants:

"I think the country's number one priority right now, when it comes to migration is tackling illegal migration. It's stopping people coming here illegally in small boats across the Channel. Because when people see that happening it undermines trust in the system. It doesn't seem fair that people are able to break the rules.”

Britain left the EU in 2020, but has faced continued wrangling over the shape of its future trading relationship with the bloc.