'Ireland first' in all negotiations between United Kingdom and European Union, insists Tusk

Darnell Taylor
March 13, 2018

Financial businesses have realistic expectations about serving European Union customers after Britain leaves the bloc next year and could deal with a so-called hard Brexit, a top EU official said on Thursday.

May, but mainly repeating the red lines that we've already known for two years", said Guy Verhofstadt, representative of the European Parliament for Brexit, "the problem is today we don't have a proposal from the United Kingdom side on the future relationship.

Is there any reason why it might not serve as a possible template for arrangements between the North of Ireland, Great Britain and the European Union, post-Brexit?

Barnier lauded the rules the European Union created together with Britain for 44 years to create the "social market economy" that shelters citizens and workers from excesses of deregulation.

European Parliament President Antonio Tajani said: "As far as the European Parliament is concerned, the principles governing our future relations are clear: single market integrity must be preserved, a third country can not be treated more favourably than an EU member state and a level playing field is essential".

Recognising the "very particular challenges" that Brexit brings for both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, May says that a hard border must be avoided and that "physical infrastructure at the border, or any related checks and controls, have been ruled out", whilst also rejecting the idea of creating a customs and regulatory border between the island of Ireland and the Great Britain (i.e., the Irish Sea), since breaking up the UK's own common market is unacceptable.

The EU last week snubbed British Prime Minister Theresa May's calls for a special post-Brexit deal by offering London just a free-trade agreement with no special treatment for Britain's mighty financial sector.

Oil Sinks on Output Complications
At 0640 GMT, May WTI crude oil is trading $61.86, down $0.06 or -0.10% and June Brent crude oil is at $65.35, up $0.08 or +0.12%. Both the Brent and WTI saw a massive decline as they enter the market this week with a solid 1% decline.


"It should come as no surprise that the only remaining possible model is a free trade agreement", European Council President Donald Tusk said in his statement upon publishing the guidelines, refusing much of the vision that May had shared in her Manson speech.

That plan prompted furious reactions in London and Belfast.

The European Commission is expecting to hear from the United States in the coming days how the European Union can avoid US import tariffs on steel and aluminum, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Tuesday.

Although Britain wants a deal, the government says it is preparing for any outcome, including the chance that Britain could crash out of the bloc without a deal.

Referring to the dispute with the United States over steel and aluminium tariffs, he said the UK could sign its own trade deal with the U.S. "in 48 hours" if it was not a member of the EU.

The 27 remaining European Union leaders will endorse a joint stance on their future relationship with Britain in Brussels on March 23.

The Ulster Unionists are due to meet with the chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier on Wednesday.

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