David Davis: There is room for "significant regulatory divergence" after Brexit

Catherine Neilan
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The minister said a trade deal would not be agreed by October
Davis said negotiators are seeking to "develop a chapter" on services within the FTA (Source: Getty)

David Davis has said there is room for "significant regulatory divergence" after Brexit because alignment will focus on outcomes rather than processes.

Speaking at the WSJ's CEO Council this morning the Brexit secretary said "there will be able to be significant regulatory divergence" because the deal on our future relationship with the EU will be based around "mutual recognition of outcomes".

The minister said that while the trade deal would not be agreed "in legal terms" by October - in time for both parliaments in Westminster and Brussels to vote on the terms - Davis said MPs would insist on "a lot of detail" before signing off on the £39bn divorce bill, among other things.

Negotiations were progressing well, he noted, saying issues surrounding the Irish border were eminently solvable.

He added that negotiators were trying "to develop a chapter" on services in the deal, noting that the UK's economy was 85 per cent based in these sectors.

Davis also dismissed any suggestion that there would be "mass migration" from the City because of Brexit, saying the dominance of London is not because of its place in Europe but its place in the world.

The minister, who will be joining Cabinet colleagues in an emergency meeting to discuss a response to the chemical attack in Syria this weekend, dodged questions about what we could expect from this afternoon's discussion.

Davis, who opposed military action against Assad in 2013, said the situation in Syria was "horrendous" and the use of chemical weapons is "something we have to prevent".

"But it's a very, very delicate circumstance" and any decision must be "thought through", he added.

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