Published: Thu, December 21, 2017
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Europe says Brexit transition must end in 2020

Europe says Brexit transition must end in 2020

Britain will maintain access to the European single market as it transitions out of full EU membership, EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said on Wednesday.

Legislation meant to smooth Britain's exit from the European Union moves a step closer to becoming law on Wednesday, as ministers begin working out what they want from Brexit. "All the rules and policies of the EU must continue to be applied", Barnier told reporters in Brussels, as he unveiled the European Commission's terms of his negotiating guidelines for the second phase of Brexit talks.

The central bank said it made the decision on the assumption that a "high degree of supervisory co-operation with the EU" would continue after Britain leaves the bloc.

By allowing branches of EU banks in London to be supervised by their home regulator, Britain will be hoping the bloc would in return allow euro clearing to remain in Britain.The UK gesture could also soften European Commission plans, due to be published later on Wednesday, to stiffen the conditions for allowing investment banks from outside the EU to operate inside the bloc.

Indeed, far from freeing Britain from the EU at last - as British voters chose to do in June 2016 - the transition period appears to bind the country just as tightly to the continent while removing the influence it would have over European affairs.

"The sooner there is a clear position as to what the outcome [of European Union negotiations] will be, the better", Ms Lagarde said.

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He said future ties between the European Union and Britain should focus on the economy - drawing up but not finalizing some kind of trade arrangement - aviation cooperation because Britain has left the EU's common airspace arrangements, justice cooperation and bilateral cooperation on defense, security and foreign policy.

"I don't accept the argument that just because it hasn't been done in the past it can't be done in the future", he said.

Mrs May responded to that point at PMQs today, saying: "We are not going to exclude Gibraltar from our negotiations from either the implementation period or the future agreement".

Mr Barnier warned that "logically speaking", when the United Kingdom leaves the European institutions in March 2019, it will no longer be covered by around 750 global agreements - including dozens of free trade deals - negotiated by the EU while it was a member.

She repeated that Britain would be leaving the EU's single market and customs union, but said the transition arrangements were "a practical matter that most people will understand and appreciate".

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