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13 March 2018, 09:58 | Joann Bryant
EU presses Britain to 'face up to hard facts' on Brexit
Michel Barniersaid any attempt by Britain to gain a competitive edge through the use of what is termed "dumping" would jeopardize hopes the country has for a smooth and orderly withdrawal from the EU.
If won, Britons could hold onto their current rights to work, travel and live freely across Europe, despite Britain leaving the single market and customs union.
The EU has told the financial sector to prepare for a smooth or hard Brexit, even if the bloc's aim is to obtain a good trade agreement with Britain, he added.
Rather than adopting an existing model such as membership of the European Economic Area or the European Free Trade Association (the so-called Norway model) or looking to replicate a Canada-style Free Trade Agreement, the United Kingdom will continue to press for a bespoke deal which is tailored for United Kingdom interests. That's pushed the European Union to consider a traditional free trade association as the best option available to both sides.
He also defended an European Union proposal for the bloc to continue to regulate trade in the British province of Northern Ireland after Brexit, should no other ways emerge to avoid a hard border between that territory and the country of Ireland. It goes well beyond the Belfast Agreement in its North-South proposals.
The EU expects existing rules on freedom of movement to apply until the end of the transition phase.
"Northern Ireland trade with Great Britain is worth almost 4 times more than Northern Ireland exports to the Republic".
The EU last week snubbed British Prime MinisterTheresa May's calls for a special post-Brexit deal by offering London just a free-trade agreement with no special treatment for Britain's mighty financial sector.
Best for Britain, which has joined forces with other campaign groups and individuals, argues that the Brexit treaty "amends or replaces" EU treaties and should therefore be subject to the 2011 European Union Act, which introduced a "referendum lock" for laws with such wide-ranging consequences.
"In the Free Trade Agreement, we can offer trade in goods", but "services are about common rules, common supervision, and common enforcement", he said.
Last year, she forced Ministers to give Parliament a say before the Brexit process was triggered.
"I recommend that we keep a close eye on the regulatory divergence, this dumping", he said, warning that it could become a key obstacle if Britain wants to get a smooth exit from the EU.
"We should all be clear that also when it comes to financial services, life will be different after Brexit".
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