December 5, 2017 / 1:47 PM / a year ago

Britain says regulatory alignment for Northern Ireland could apply to whole UK after Brexit

Britain's Secretary of State for Departing the EU David Davis arrives in Downing Street, London, November 29, 2017. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain wants any regulatory alignment for Northern Ireland to apply to the whole of the United Kingdom after Brexit, chief British negotiator David Davis said on Tuesday.

“Regulatory alignment is not harmonisation: its a question of ensuring similar outcomes in areas where you want to have trade relationships and free and frictionless trade,” Davis told parliament.

“And anything we agree for Northern Ireland in this respect, if we get our free trade area, will apply to the whole country,” Davis said.

Davis said Britain was waiting to agree on an implementation period as soon as possible in the new year. He declined to comment on the cost of Brexit bill but said Britain and the EU are pretty close to alignment.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge

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