Hammond to tell Europe Brexit deal is in 'your interest'
Hammond to tell Europe Brexit deal is in 'your interest'
PAOn Friday the PM outlined plans for the future EU-UK relationship & vowed to leave the customs union
07 March, 2018, 19:58
According to Brexit negotiation guidelines from the European Council, the stance of the EU is not favoring the current position of the UK Prime Minister.
The document - which the European Commission published this afternoon after it was leaked to publications including Business Insider - states that only a basic free trade agreement is available to the United Kingdom as long as Prime Minister May's government sticks to its current red lines of leaving the single market and customs union.
The document must be signed off by European Union leaders before trade talks can start.
Mr Tusk said: "The UK will be our closest neighbour and we want to remain friends and partners after Brexit - partners that are as close as possible, just like we have said from the very first day after the referendum".
The draft European Union guidelines, which will be worked on by European Union diplomats to be approved by the bloc's 27 national leaders in late March, say services will indeed be part of the deal, but spell out clear limits of what can be on offer.
Philip Hammond called on Wednesday for a "unique" Brexit agreement which includes financial service, just hours after European Union negotiators rejected the possibility of such a deal.
Crucially, the bloc said Britain would be treated like any other third country when it came to financial services - which London had pressed to be included in a future free-trade deal.
"Such an agreement can not offer the same benefits as Membership and can not amount to participation in the Single Market or parts thereof", the text read.
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The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer will challenge claims that financial services can not be part of a future free trade agreement with the European Union, building on Prime Minister Theresa May'sBrexit vision set out last week.
The EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has argued that such a deal had never been done before.
May used her speech last week to call for an EU-UK deal that worked "more fully than any free trade agreement anywhere in the world today", while acknowledging it was time to face "hard facts" about the economic consequences of Britain's shock 2016 vote to leave.
The EU guidelines added that "there can be no "cherry-picking" - Brussels jargon for getting free access in certain sectors including financial services without the obligations and costs of membership, including respecting freedom of movement of people from EU countries.
"So I am clear not only that it is possible to include financial services within a trade deal, but that it is very much in our mutual interest to do so". Similar restrictions would arise on European Union financial services sold to Britain.
May has refused to accept the EU's draft withdrawal agreement as it suggests Northern Ireland may need to effectively stay in the customs union and single market. "In this context, existing reciprocal access to fishing waters and resources should be maintained".
It says a "deep and comprehensive" trade deal, of the kind envisioned by Theresa May, must entail "a binding interpretation role" for the European Court of Justice. It added that "there can be no "cherry picking" through participation based on a sector-by-sector approach".
In a dark assessment of the future talks, Tusk said Brexit will not make trade "frictionless or smoother".
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