Published: Fri, July 27, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Brexit: Michel Barnier knocks back PM’s Chequers plan

Brexit: Michel Barnier knocks back PM’s Chequers plan

But it would also push up inflation, renewing the squeeze on consumers' real incomes seen after the pound fell following the European Union referendum in June 2016.

The comments represent the first time Mr Barnier has definitively rejected the proposal in the UK's white paper.

Officials working on the negotiations will be brought together in the Cabinet Office Europe Unit headed by Mr Robbins - who reports direct to the Prime Minister - while Mr Raab's Department for Exiting the European Union will focus on preparations for life after Brexit.

Theresa May has said "no United Kingdom prime minister" could sign up to the EU's plan to keep Northern Ireland in the customs union and single market in order to avoid a hard border in Ireland, while the EU has said the UK's proposals do not go far enough to prevent a hard border.

Brexit backers like Mr Davis and Mr Johnson want a clean split, and Mrs May is under pressure from as many as 80 other eurosceptic Conservatives to toughen up her proposals and pursue a hard divorce.

Barnier, however, is said to have rejected this idea out of hand, saying that such a scheme would not allow the European Union to unilaterally make decisions about equivalence, something it wishes to do.

Mr Chmelar gave his backing to Mr Barnier's position, telling BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "There is a clear problem with the fact that the European Union will not have a mechanism to control its borders and it would be delegated - without any European Union control - to a third country, which would be Britain after March".

And he appeared to be making an attempt to separate the thorny issue of the Irish border from the rest of the Withdrawal Agreement which is due to be settled by October, repeatedly referring to a "protocol" on Northern Ireland.

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"The future post-Brexit is going to be what we make it".

Matt Hancock has announced that his department is drawing up contingency plans to stockpile drugs, should a no-deal Brexit impede the public's access to medication. Indivisibility of the four freedoms, the integrity of the single market, these are key points.

"This is not "taking back control", it is abandoning it, says the report, entitled Feeding Britain: Food security after Brexit and authored by food, science and environmental policy experts Prof Tim Lang (City University), Prof Erik Millstone (Sussex University), Tony Lewis (Chartered Institute of Environmental Health) and Prof Terry Marsden (Cardiff University)".

For his part, Mr Raab put a more positive gloss on the state of play in negotiations.

Fox said London is preparing the way to launch formal talks with Washignton by the March 29 Brexit date, including meetings with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. "We've got a template for a good relationship", he said of Mrs May's blueprint.

It issued a policy document on legislation it says is needed to implement the terms of any final exit deal negotiated between London and Brussels, once it has been approved in principle by parliament.

Mr Raab said: "We have agreed to meet again in mid-August and then to continue weekly discussions to clear away all the obstacles that line our path, to a strong deal in October - one that works for both sides".

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