Irony is dead! EU official orders UK to stop interfering with Brussels’ sovereignty

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Throughout Brexit talks, the EU forced the UK to keep alignment in many areas and, as seen by the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, there are many sectors where the two have agreed to a level playing field despite Britain’s newfound sovereignty. Despite the EU’s demands for Britain to follow its regulations, Brussels’ new ambassador to the UK, João Vale de Almeida, insisted the UK should not interfere in its trade deal with China. The EU-China deal has come under scrutiny for its lack of workers’ rights provisions and loose terms on state aid, two areas Brussels forced the UK to strict agreements on.

Commentators have also accused the EU of offloading any geopolitical problems to the Joe Biden administration.

In an event hosted by the Conservative Bright Blue think-tank, Mr Vale de Almeida said the: “The US, UK, and EU need to respect the autonomy of each of the players.

“There should be no problem if one country takes an initiative on its own.

“What is important is to have a dialogue on our way in which we deal with partners such as China.

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“We shouldn’t ask this investment agreement to address all the issues that we have with China.”

The EU official insisted the investment deal with China is just one element of its relationship with Beijing.

Throughout talks with China, the EU tried to create a balanced playing field with the state.

Despite maintaining a tough stance with the UK on state aid throughout talks, the EU has given China a greater threshold to which it can give money to companies.

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In a draft text seen by Politico, public support below 450,000 Special Drawing Rights over three years will not be regarded as state subsidies.

In the EU-UK trade deal, it states anything above 325,000 will be classed as state aid.

There are also looser terms over which a party can take action through a dispute mechanism following a violation of state aid rules.

In a further divergence from its UK deal, the EU has not included any enforcement to protect workers’ rights.

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Instead, EU officials have drawn up a schedule for China to institute certain reforms.

The provisions relating to workers’ rights have come under intense scrutiny over allegations of forced labour in China’s Xinjiang region.

Within the UK agreement, both sides agreed to not lower labour and social standards.

There are also provisions which allow either side to take countermeasures if one party believes any changes have created an unfair advantage.

Even MEP, Guy Verhofstadt, has attacked the bloc for its provisions on China.

He said: “Do the right thing von der Leyen: Back to the drawing table on the investment agreement with China.

“Otherwise the European parliament will do it for you.”

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