Britain will underline its desire for a Canadian-style trade agreement with the European Union (EU) when formal talks begin next month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's office on Downing Street said on Saturday.
Ministers will meet on Tuesday to sign the formal trade mandate document that sets the UK's negotiating goals before it is released on Thursday.
Britain has made clear several times its desire for a Canadian-style deal and will reaffirm it, "Downing Street said in a statement.
The EU-Canada agreement, which provisionally entered into force in 2017, removes most tariffs on goods traded between the two countries, but does little to facilitate trade in financial services that are very important to the UK economy ,
EU negotiator Michel Barnier said Britain could not have such an agreement free of the bloc rules, and French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday before that it was not clear whether an agreement could be reached by the end of the year like it was Prime Minister Boris Johnson wishes.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's office said no surprises are expected in the mandate document, which aims for a future relationship based on friendly cooperation between sovereign equals.
The UK ministers agreed on their goals, adding: "This is in contrast to the process of agreeing the EU mandate, which so far appears to have been hampered by indecision and delay due to the competing interests of different Member States."
The EU had planned to set its mandate by February 11th. She noted that the deadline had now passed and that EU countries were now caught up in the debate over agreeing the EU budget for the next seven years.
The first round of formal trade talks will take place in Brussels from March 2nd. The British side is led by negotiator David Frost.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)