Time to turn Brexit speeches into treaties: EU's Juncker

Mar 14, 2018, 00:35
Time to turn Brexit speeches into treaties: EU's Juncker

"As the clock ticks down with one year to go, it is now time to translate speeches into treaties, to turn commitments into agreements, broad suggestions and wishes on the future relationship into specific workable conditions", he said in what can be seen as a rebuke to the speech of British Prime Minister Theresa May earlier in the month.

"I also heard the chancellor's words about financial services being "very much in the mutual interest" of the United Kingdom and EU".

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.

Responding to the small group, Mr Juncker said the time would come "when you will regret your decision". The EU has already said that it has no choice but to remove these rights post-brexit.

Mr Juncker told MEPs in Strasbourg there was "increasing urgency" to negotiate the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

He said it "translates faithfully" the agreement reached between Theresa May and the European Union in December.

A series of speeches by May and her senior ministers have done little to satisfy Brussels, and Juncker warned it was particularly crucial for London to clarify its plans for the sensitive issue of the Irish border.

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The EPP chairman committed to ensuring a hard border between Republic and Northern Ireland, promising to vote down any proposal that doesn't include a solution for this issue.

Juncker added: "I would rather have preferred for Britons not to decide to leave the European Union but anyone who leaves the EU has to know frankly what this means".

The EU is seeking to be exempted from planned USA import duties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, but says Washington has not made clear how the exemption process works.

"The UK is choosing to leave the union, the single market and the customs union, we have noted that".

The UK and the European Union are set to negotiate a deal later this month that will largely keep things as they are until 2020, but a number of companies are already concerned about the long-term impact on the industry that employs over 800,000 people and generates turnover of £77.5 billion.

The Prime Minister issued a five-point ultimatum to Brussels to ensure Britain gets the Brexit deal the country voted for in the European Union referendum.

'We are monitoring the situation as the negotiations unfold and look forward to receiving additional clarity at the March council, ' said Honda's European government affairs manager Patrick Keating.