Sunday, 22 April, 2018

Tusk: EU doesn't want to 'build a wall' with Britain

EU's Tusk to lay down Brexit trade red lines EU's Tusk to lay down Brexit trade red lines
Melinda Barton | 08 March, 2018, 22:24

British negotiators have always been keen to move to discussions about trade and had hoped to do so after the March meeting of the European Council in two weeks, but Mr Tusk's latest ultimatum suggests further delays could be in store.

But the text continues: "At the same time, the European Council has to take into account the repeatedly stated positions of the United Kingdom, which limit the depth of such a future partnership".

But Hammond said the EU's third country equivalence regime would be wholly inadequate, and criticised the only patchy access it gives, as well as the possibility of revoking it at short notice.

"It should come as no surprise", he said, "that the only remaining possible model is a free trade agreement".

Mr Tusk said: "A "pick and mix" approach for a non-members state is out of the question".

And they warn that there can be "no cherry-picking" of participation in the single market for particular sectors, such as financial services.

As the European Union published six pages of details of its vision of a future relationship agreement with the UK, Mr Tusk said Britain could not expect to benefit from a "pick and mix" approach. It will make it more complicated and costly for all of us.

"This will unfortunately have negative economic consequences", the draft, which is due to be adopted by the other 27 countries on March 22, said. "I know that the United Kingdom I treasure can emerge from this process a stronger, more cohesive nation", she declared, adding: "I am in no doubt that whatever agreement we reach with the European Union, our future is bright". The red lines that London has drawn hardly allow Brussels to offer a free trade agreement, with a chapter of cooperation in justice, defence, security and aviation.

However, he added: "This positive approach doesn't change the simple fact that because of Brexit we will be drifting apart".

European Commission President Donald Tusk said Wednesday that a free-trade deal with no tariffs on goods is the most Britain could aim for once it leaves the bloc. While the European Union said it wants tariff-free and quota-free trade for goods, it said services can only be included with restrictions. "Sorry, it's not our objective", he added. The UK currently leads Europol's cybercrime initiatives and the agency's outgoing chief Rob Wainwright said that post-Brexit the UK's influence is likely to be "less direct, less pronounced and probably less successful than they are now", he said in an interview with the BBC. "This is the essence of Brexit", Tusk said at a news conference in Brussels to publicize the guidelines for the next phase of the Brexit negotiations.

The draft guidelines proclaim that there could be a zero tariff agreement with post-Brexit Britain that includes all goods (including, unusually, agriculture and fisheries).

He tried to make the case that it's in both sides' interest to maintain the City of London as a financial hub and that any trade deal with the European Union that excluded services wouldn't be fair. We're not going to sacrifice this principle.

Existing reciprocal rights of access to fishing waters should be maintained, and there should be "appropriate" customs co-operation, the guidelines state.

Speaking to an audience at HSBC's headquarters in London on Wednesday, the chancellor of the exchequer said the UK's financial services industry was crucial to negotiations, describing it is an asset to Europe not just the UK.