PUBLISHED: 09:47, Wed, Feb 26, 2020 | UPDATED: 09:48, Wed, Feb 26, 2020
Britain and the European Union will finally enter trade negotiations next week after struggling through three years of Brexit withdrawal negotiations. But with the talks looming, international trade lawyer Miriam González Durántez warned the EU appears to have failed to realise the British Government completely pivoted on the relationship they want the UK to have with the EU27 in the future. Speaking to Euronews, Ms González Durántez said: "I think we are quite far apart. In a way, some of what is happening now is typical behaviour at the beginning of the negotiations. To set your extreme positions, so to speak.
"But on the other hand, it is certainly true that in the UK there has been a fundamental change. During the last three years, the UK was working toward a comprehensive and close agreement with the EU.
"What we have now is the UK Government who basically does not want a comprehensive agreement with the EU, and I fear it is taking some time for the EU to realise that is a game-changer."
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been clamouring for a new trade agreement mimicking the commercial deal Brussels struck with Canada in 2017 after seven years of negotiations.
Ms González Durántez continued: "A Canada-style deal is a basic, what we call a bare-bone deal.
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Brexit trade talks witll be kicking off on March 3 after three years of withdrawal negotiations (Image: GETTY•EBS)
González Durántez suggested the EU has struggled to come to terms with the change of position to a Canada-style deal (Image: EURONEWS)
"Just basic provisions on goods and services. Nothing close on regulation and regulation is the difficult bit of these negotiations, whether we can really get close in terms of regulatory alignment.
"But I fear that the UK is not interested in regulatory alignment."
Eurocrats have been calling on the British Government to agree to a so-called level playing field to avoid undue competition once Britain is no longer constricted by EU regulation from December 2020.
Senior EU leaders, including France’s Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Angela Merkel, have raised concerns the UK would become an economic competitor if allowed to