Barnier to United Kingdom: don't 'kid yourself' on financial services

Barnier to United Kingdom: don't 'kid yourself' on financial services

"There will not be general open-ended or ongoing equivalence negotiations on financial services", Barnier told MEPs in Strasbourg.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said she was "surprised" by the proposition, pointing out that Australia is now in talks with the EU to improve its current agreement with the bloc.

In a speech setting out the UK's negotiating objectives, Mr Johnson said the question was whether to seek a Canadian-style deal or an Australian-style relationship, "and I have no doubt that in either case the United Kingdom will prosper".

UK Finance Minister Sajid Javid said Tuesday he wanted a stable financial relationship for decades to come...only to get an instant knock-back from European Union officials.

The EU would "retain a free hand to take our own decisions".

The document under Mr Javid's arm calls for a binding process "to stabilise equivalence granted unilaterally".

"There was no growth in the last quarter of 2019 as increases in the services and construction sectors were offset by another poor showing from manufacturing, particularly the motor industry", said Rob Kent-Smith, head of GDP in the ONS.

"Brexit is not business as usual".

France Britain Brexit
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen talks to EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier

Von der Leyen, responding to Britain's moves bracing for a possible no deal on trade, said: "If this is the British choice, well, we are fine with that without any question".

The UK government is due to publish a white paper on new immigration policy in March to put into practice the new immigration policy immediately after ending the Brexit transition period, which is poised to settle on bringing in high-skilled immigrants regardless of their nationality, but the overall number of immigrants will decline in years to come.

But the comments appear to be a direct contradiction to the promises he himself gave to members of the public in 2016 when he said the United Kingdom would still be able to trade freely within Europe even if it left the EU.

But since then, Johnson has dialled back on that scope and his government has signalled it is willing to accept trade friction as the cost of exercising sovereignty.

However, under Boris Johnson's Withdrawal Agreement, Northern Ireland is set to follow European Union rules on goods and agriculture to avoid a hard border with the Republic of Ireland.

The European Parliament today backed a tough EU negotiating position with Britain that emphasises access for EU fishing boats and a continued role for the European Court of Justice.

Mr Brandis added: "There is a whole big wide world out there for Britain to reengage with and we Australians look forward to engaging with you". "However, the reality is not decisive but the perception", he told reporters.

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