It is important to say that even where the UK has shaken up agreements, they are not necessarily identical to the corresponding EU agreements. Thus, the United Kingdom and Switzerland were only able to agree on the maintenance of a minority of the mutual recognition agreements in force between the EU and Switzerland. This is because, in a number of regulatory areas, Switzerland maintains legal equivalence with the EU and therefore cannot commit to mutual recognition of the UK`s practices unless the UK also complies with EU standards in these areas. Similar questions arise with regard to Iceland, Norway and Turkey. In parallel with the negotiations, the International Minister of Trade held a series of important meetings with the U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Robert Lighthizer. While customers are rightly focusing on the current state of negotiations between the UK and the EU, with around 12 weeks to go until the end of the transition period, it is easy to lose sight of the impact of Brexit on the UK`s trade relationship with the rest of the world and the economic consequences for business. The UK is seeking a „comprehensive free trade agreement“ (such as the EU CETA with Canada) that does not cover fisheries, security, transport or energy. It considers that these issues should be agreed separately if „appropriate governance agreements“ were decided, not by the European Court of Justice.  As we prepare for the next rounds of negotiations, I would like to reiterate the government`s position on the transition period established after we leave the EU. The transition will end on December 31 of this year. We will not ask to extend it.
If the EU asks for it, we will say no. An extension would simply prolong the negotiations, create even more uncertainty, pay us more in the future to the EU and keep us bound by European laws under development at a time when we have to control our own affairs. In short, it is not in the UK`s interest to expand. As of 31 October 2020[update], the United Kingdom had concluded 24 trade agreements with 53 countries, some using mutatis mutandis an approach mutatis mutandis to quickly emulate existing agreements between the EU and these countries, specifying only these small areas of differentiation (which has reduced some agreements to about 40 pages from the initial region of 1400).