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EU minister says post-Brexit UK must follow EU trade rules to trade in Europe

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EU minister says post-Brexit UK must follow EU trade rules to trade in Europe
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Ireland's foreign minister wants the UK to know it won't get a comprehensive trade deal with Europe if it insists on diverging from EU rules.

Simon Coveney also said the language around Brexit by senior members of the British government is "not helpful."

He was responding to recent comments from the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, who ruled out the prospect the UK following EU trade regulations after Brexit.

“There will not be alignment, we will not be a rule-taker", Javid told the Financial Times in an interview published last week.

Today he doubled-down on those comments, but added that the UK still hopes to negotiate a deep partnership with the EU.

"We've been very clear now for many months, as we leave the EU, we will not be in the single market, we will not be in the customs union and we will not be rule-takers."

Javid was in Brussels, at his final meeting of EU finance ministers. The UK will no longer be a member of the group when it leaves the EU at the end of the month.

"At the same time," Javed told reporters, "of course we want a deep comprehensive trade agreement and that's what we're working on."

But Coveney told Euronews that no deep partnership would be possible without Britain operating with the same standards as the EU.

"There does need to be a realisation and an understanding in the UK that they can't simply just go their own on regulation, on state aid rules and a whole range of other things, and then expect that there will be open access into the EU's single market", he said.

Ireland's Deputy Prime Minister also criticised the sentiment coming from members of the British government around Brexit, describing it as 'unhelpful'.

"I think we should move away from the language of people being rule takers are rule makers," he said.

The EU and UK are expected to sit down for formal trade talks around the end of February.

Under the withdrawal agreement, the terms and conditions for a new EU-UK trading relationship have to be agreed upon by December 2020.

UK's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has signed in to law an election promise not to extend this deadline, regardless of whether the trade talks are completed.

The prospect of the UK leaving the EU with no formal trading arrangements has sparked renewed anxiety among the businesses.

"We don't have much time," because the UK has "tied their own hands with their own legislation," said Coveney.