European Union tells Britain to 'face up to hard facts' on Brexit

Nigel Farage and Fishing

Nigel Farage and Fishing

"It is not crystal clear how a potential exclusion process will function", European Commision Vice President Jyrki Katainen told a news conference, saying he had discussed the issue with France and Japan.

The debate and vote (on Wednesday) come ahead of the 22-23 March EU summit in Brussels where EU heads of state or government are expected to approve the Council's guidelines for the future relationship negotiations. "The parties shall, in full mutual respect and good faith, assist each other in carrying out tasks which flow from this agreement".

That frustration was reinforced by EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who also told EU legislators that "there is increasing urgency to negotiate this orderly withdrawal".

"The EU is bullying us", he said, before urging Theresa May "to do what Trump has done and stand strong against the European Commission, against the unelected bullies".

One of the big Brexit sticking-points centers on the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. Understandably, given its inherently worldwide nature and reliance on cross-border trade, the financial services sector would be worst hit in the UK.

"It's time to face up to the hard facts", he said.

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"We want a fund manager based in Milan to easily offer funds in Riga without compromising investor protection", Dombrovskis said.

The airline industry differs from others such as energy and chemicals where, from London to Lisbon, companies uniformly say that the UK's departure is a major headache.

May has also stated to her colleagues at No.10 Downing Street that she has "asked officials to look at it very carefully", going on to say that "I believe it gives some very good proposals for solutions".

After Theresa May rejected EU proposals for Northern Ireland effectively to remain in the customs union, Mr Tusk warned that progress in Brexit talks could be put at risk if there was "backsliding" on principles agreed a year ago.

"I challenge the Government to step up their efforts for the fishing sector as we approach the final 13 months of negotiations before the article 50 trigger date in 2019 for the United Kingdom exit from the European Union - more of the same is not an option at such a critical time as this, our Government needs to position themselves to the forefront of defending Irish fishing interests at this time and that is not clearly evident to date".

Chuka Umunna, a prominent lawmaker in the opposition Labour Party who is advocating Britain remaining part of the tariff-free single market and customs union, said Fox's remarks were nothing more than "playground speak". The UK will look to match European Union regulatory standards (and possibly adopt identical rules) to ensure that trade in most goods remains as free as possible. It therefore appears impossible to solve the problem of the Irish border given the self-imposed red lines of both the European Union and of Theresa May.

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