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The authoritative source for independent research on UK-EU relations

Politics and Society

Relationship with the EU

This fact was correct when it was updated on 24 Sep 2020

What are level playing field measures?

Level playing field measures are often included in trade agreements to ensure that minimum requirements in areas such as labour rights and environmental standards are maintained by both sides. They ensure that neither can gain a competitive advantage by reducing standards. Other level playing field measures may include limits on subsidies to industry or agriculture. The EU’s insistence on level playing field provisions in any trade agreement with the UK is one of the major stumbling blocks in the path of a deal: the UK argues that the EU is trying to impose more onerous requirements on it than it has in other free trade agreements. The EU argues that the UK’s size, interconnectedness with the EU economy and geographic proximity mean that it needs this protection.

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