David Davis says there won't be 'Mad Max-style' free-for-all after Brexit

David Davis says there won't be 'Mad Max-style' free-for-all after Brexit

David Davis is to give a speech in Vienna

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Brexit Secretary David Davis is to deny ministers are preparing a programme of sweeping deregulation in a "Mad Max-style" free-for-all after Britain leaves the EU.

In a keynote speech in Vienna today (February 20) Davis will say the UK wants to maintain "close, even-handed co-operation" with EU regulatory authorities even after it has withdrawn from the bloc.

Addressing an audience of Austrian business leaders, he will argue that a common commitment to high regulatory standards should ensure trade with the EU remains as "frictionless as possible" after Brexit.

Ministers have previously warned the UK would be forced to adopt a different "economic model" if it was unable to secure a satisfactory deal with the remaining 27 member states.

However Davis will insist the Government will continue its track record of high standards outside the EU and had no intention of engaging in a new "race to the bottom."

"I know that for one reason or another there are some people who have sought to question that these really are our intentions," he will say.

"They fear that Brexit could lead to an Anglo-Saxon race to the bottom, with Britain plunged into a Mad Max-style world borrowed from dystopian fiction.

"These fears about a race to the bottom are based on nothing - not history, not intention, nor interest."

Davis will also point to Theresa May's commitment to maintaining and enhancing workers' rights, Chancellor Philip Hammond's support for a stable European banking system and Environment Secretary Michael Gove's "crusading zeal" on animal welfare as examples of the UK's determination to lead a "race to the top."

The Brexit Secretary will say that when one side or the other wishes to change its regulations, it will be essential to ensure it does not lead to the creation of "unnecessary barriers" to trade.