Friday, 06 December, 2019


United Kingdom dreaming when it comes to post-Brexit trade, EU Chief says

United Kingdom dreaming when it comes to post-Brexit trade, EU Chief says United Kingdom dreaming when it comes to post-Brexit trade, EU Chief says
Bennie Garza | 31 March, 2018, 10:37

Asked why the draft made no mention of a section in December's EU-UK joint report that there should be no regulatory divergence between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Barnier said it was because that was an internal British matter.

Donald Tusk, the European council president, said he was "absolutely sure that all the essential elements of the draft will be accepted by all".

If adopted by the remaining EU 27 countries at the next EU Council summit in March, the guidelines will become the mandate for EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier as Brexit talks progress later this year.

For EU negotiators, their "backstop" solution for the island of Ireland merely formalizes what the British agreed to in December - no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic - something Dublin and the majority of the Northern Irish are demanding.

Mrs May chaired a special meeting of her Cabinet before hosting President Tusk for a working lunch in Number ten.

May insisted there was no disagreement with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on the Irish border question.

Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn raised the pressure on May on Monday when he said he backed the United Kingdom remaining in the customs union, a move that would largely solve the problem of keeping the Irish border invisible and make it easier for the United Kingdom to trade with the EU.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May slammed the document, saying it would undermine the UK market and threaten the UK constitutional integrity as provides for creating a regulatory border between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. If they did not want the EU's solution, they must come up with another plan, not just "theoretical stuff", he told Ireland's Newstalk radio.

LONDON - Britain will refuse to pay its £39 billion Brexit divorce bill unless Brussels backs down on legal demands that would keep Northern Ireland aligned with European Union rules, David Davis has warned.

Few observers believe May's Friday speech will do much to clear the air or clarify the British government's position on exactly what it wants in terms of a future trade deal with the European Union - or at least one that Brussels could agree to and persuade all the 27 European Union member states to endorse.

Speaking on a visit to see key figures on the EU side of the negotiations, Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, said Labour's clear commitment to negotiate a new customs union arrangement and a deal on access to the single market had been welcomed in Brussels.

For commentator Iain Martin the clashes are illustrating a wider truth about the incompatibility of Britain and the EU.

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