(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER BORIS JOHNSON SAYING:
"There is no need for a free trade agreement to involve accepting EU rules on competition policy, subsidies, social protection, the environment or anything similar."
Tough talk from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday (February 3).
On the first working day of his administration in the post-Brexit world, he laid out his negotiating terms for where trade talks with the European Union go from here. His stance was clear.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, BORIS JOHNSON, SAYING:
"Well folks, I hope you've got the message by now. We've made a choice. We want a comprehensive free-trade agreement similar to Canada's, but in the unlikely event that we do not succeed, our trade will have to be based on our existing withdrawal agreement with the EU."
Now that Britain has officially left the EU, both sides have until the end of the year to secure a deal.
Both want to get that done, but on very different terms.
While Johnson says the UK can what he called the ''superman'' of free trade, and will not adhere to the bloc's rules and regulation, EU leaders say the further Britain diverges from their rules the less access it will have to the EU market.
The EU's Michel Barnier:
(SOUNDBITE) (English) EU BREXIT NEGOTIATOR, MICHEL BARNIER, SAYING:
"First, we need to make sure competition is and remains open and fair (...) We must now agree on specific and effective guaranties to ensure a level-playing field over the long term.''
Johnson appears to be taking a much tougher negotiating stance than his predecessor, Theresa May.
Barnier warns that both sides need to prepare for the prospect of a "cliff edge" no deal at the end of the year.