Published: Fri, March 09, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

EU's Tusk: UK border stance threatens to stall Brexit talks

EU's Tusk: UK border stance threatens to stall Brexit talks

Where the European Union says it is impossible to offer any guarantee that anything drawn up in the short term will ultimately be agreed in future negotiations after Brexit, the United Kingdom wants assurances of what it will get in exchange for the financial obligations it accepts under the withdrawal treaty.

And he sought to eke out a special place for the City of London's financial services.

Along the same vein Mr Hammond admitted that while the sector will see consequences and change after Brexit, London's success as a financial centre is unique and will be "impossible to replicate" elsewhere. Canadian financial firms must set up a presence inside the bloc and comply with its regulations if they want to do business there.

Mr Tusk insisted that while he and other European governments did not want "to build a wall between the EU and Britain" there would be barriers...

"The United Kingdom can not automatically be a rule-taker", Mr Hammond said.

The Chancellor explained: "It doesn't surprise me that their position in their guidelines is "we would like a great deal of the thing that, clearly, the British will be reluctant to concede" and very little at all on offer of the things that the British will regard as most important. We must have the ability if necessary, to deliver an equivalent outcome by different means".

The Confederation of British Industry's deputy director-general Josh Hardie backed the Chancellor, saying "trying to forge a new trading relationship with our largest trading partner that does not include financial services is like building a ship with no sails".

"It's the standard offer in any EU trade agreement", said Sam Lowe, a research fellow on trade issues at the Center for European Reform.

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EU Council President Donald Tusk says Britain should not expect anything more than a free trade agreement after Brexit, and will not be allowed to cherry-pick its rights, as Prime Minister Theresa May would like.

If Britain were to join the European Economic Area, dubbed the Norway option, it would have access to the EU single market in return for accepting free movement of EU citizens and contributing to the bloc's budget, but with no say over the EU rules it must implement. "In fact, this will be the first FTA in history that loosens economic ties, instead of strengthening them", the former Polish premier added.

The draft envisages an agreement on aviation, but requires European Union data protection rules to continue to apply in the UK. It will make it more complicated and costly than today for all of us.

"The EU itself pursued ambitious financial services co-operation in its proposals for TTIP - which it described as a partnership that would be: "more than a traditional free trade agreement" Hammond said. It also puts him in direct opposition to his French counterpart, Bruno Le Maire, who warned on Tuesday that financial services would not form part of a trade deal.

They will discuss the ongoing Brexit negotiations, exchange views on the draft Withdrawal Agreement, and discuss additional guidelines for the future relationship between the European Union and the UK.

He added that "a pick and mix approach for a non-member state is out of the question".

"It would be completely irresponsible to create an atmosphere where we can say, don't worry, everything will go well and smoothly because we simply don't know", Katainen said.

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