Boris Johnson has touted post-Brexit changes to business taxes and regulation next year as Conservative Eurosceptics pored over the details of his trade agreement with the EU.
The Prime Minister said that Chancellor Rishi Sunak is “doing a big exercise on all of this” currently but insisted that the UK would not regress on workers’ rights or environmental standards.
Scrutiny of the treaty began in earnest when the 1,246-page document was officially published on the morning of Boxing Day – less than a week before its implementation.
It was quickly met with severe criticism from those working in the fishing industry who said they had been “sacrificed” in order to secure the deal with Brussels.
The Prime Minister says that, although he accepts that “the devil is in the detail” of the deal, he believes that it will stand up to inspection from the European Research Group (ERG) of Brexiteers.
The group has convened a self-styled “star chamber” of lawyers led by veteran Eurosceptic MP Sir Bill Cash to examine the full text ahead of a Commons vote.
In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph in the hours after brokering the deal on Thursday, Mr Johnson said that “a great Government effort” has gone into compiling plans for when the Brexit transition ends on December 31.
But he said it “perhaps would not have been fruitful” to discuss them publicly during negotiations, as he listed animal welfare regulations, data and chemicals alongside existing plans to establish low tax freeports.