No Brexit progress without Irish border solution — EU's Tusk

Violet Powell
March 9, 2018

European Council President, Donald Tusk, said the news should "come as no surprise" to the United Kingdom government.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Chancellor Philip Hammond says financial services must be part of any future trade agreements.

The EU was not being threatening towards Britain by preparing for a possible "cliff edge" Brexit, European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen told reporters in Brussels.

"Services are about common rules, common supervision and common enforcement to ensure a level playing field".

In a joint statement airport associations ACI Europe and the AOA welcomed the comments "This charts the way forward for the future aviation relationship and thus potentially reduces uncertainty for our sector", it says. "It will make it more complicated and costly for all of us than it is today", Tusk said.

"We should all be clear that also when it comes to financial services, life will be different after Brexit".

'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. She said that she understood that this would involve abiding by the rules of the EMA and "making an appropriate financial contribution".

After the President said the U.S. economy could boom by hiking tariffs on imported aluminium and steel, Mr Tusk said: 'President Trump has said, "Trade wars are good and easy to win". The UK financial industry had pushed this option as a way of providing a stable framework and sparing firms the burden of seeking local European Union licenses after Brexit.

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The EU said on Wednesday that there will be no special deal for one of Britain's most important industries, delivering a blow to hopes of a trade agreement that maintains current flows of staff and services. However, the proposal and its apparent inherent contradictions - in the context of the ongoing EU/UK negotiations - may not provide enough clarity to allow pan-EU companies sufficient confidence in the post-Brexit landscape to put their contingency planning on hold.

I understand that one paper circulated to senior cabinet ministers in recent weeks suggested that if the European Union doesn't bite on May's proposals, Britain could offer concessions on immigration in an attempt to make them more palatable.

Donald Tusk said the Good Friday Agreement needs to be protected, and there can not be any backsliding on political deals reached around the border with Northern Ireland.

"Given that President Trump's announcement may have repercussions for our citizens and European businesses, not to mention the global economy, I will propose that the EU leaders have an extraordinary trade debate at the upcoming summit".

Unlike the withdrawal agreement, the future trade deal or deals will have to be ratified by all the regional and national parliaments of the EU.

"Language like calling the European Union a "gang" is the kind of ham-fisted diplomacy that only serves to reduce the good will we need on the other side of the negotiating table", he said.

"This is the essence of Brexit", he added.

This should be "frictionless" and include access to free trade agreements already in place between third countries and the EU.

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