German industry wants more clarity around Brexit until next week

Jon Howard
March 15, 2018

The European Commission President says the issue of the Irish border is a European issue.

Urging the PM to speed up the Brexit negotiations and define her vision for the future relationship between United Kingdom and the EU, Barnier said: "One can not have at the same time the status of a third country and demand at the same time the advantages of the (European) Union", Barnier told a plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

It urged Theresa May and the remaining 27 European Union leaders to agree a "status quo" transition period after Brexit next year.

Mr Juncker today said the draft proposals should not come as a surprise or shock, suggesting it "translates faithfully" the agreement reached between British and European officials late a year ago to avoid a hard border.

"We agreed that we need new priorities: research, innovation, digitalisation", said Olbrycht, adding that existing priorities remained important.

Juncker warned it was particularly crucial for London to clarify its plans for the sensitive issue of the Irish border.

BDI chief Lang said: "The minimum requirement for German companies is trade in goods without customs duties or quotas, ideally in a customs union".

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The bloc has repeatedly dismissed such an idea as "cherry-picking" and European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier once again rejected on Tuesday.

German companies are still preparing for a range of outcomes to the negotiations between Britain and the European Union, including the scenario of a hard Brexit in which no agreement was reached, Lang said, adding that next week's European Union summit would be crucial.

"Do they also want to distance themselves from our regulatory model, the one that we have constructed together with you - and you with us - for 44 years?"

His European Parliament motion calls for an "association agreement" to deal with the future UK-EU relationship.

The European Parliament's Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt said talks he held with May and her Brexit minister David Davis last week had left him confident London would "see the advantages of such an approach".

UKIP MEP and former party leader Nigel Farage finds that outrageous.

"Ms May, we did not vote for a transition period, we voted to leave this organisation, we voted to leave the customs union, we voted to leave the single market", he said.

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