Daily Management Review

EU Chief Negotiator Says UK Cannot Keep All Benefits Of A Single Market And Yet Leave It


07/06/2017




EU Chief Negotiator Says UK Cannot Keep All Benefits Of A Single Market And Yet Leave It
The European Commission's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said on Thursday that the U.K. cannot expect to leave the single market and keep all of its trade benefits.
 
If the U.K. decided to leave the EU's single market, "frictionless trade" between Europe and the U.K. would "not (be) possible", Barnier told an EU business forum in Brussels. If it took this direction, the U.K. had "more to lose than its partners", he added.
 
"I have heard some people in the U.K. argue that one can leave the single market and keep all of its benefits – that is not possible," he said at the meeting.
 
In the divorce talks, leaving without a deal would not be beneficial to either party, the chief negotiator said. But including the possibility of failing to reach a deal, the EU would be ready for "all eventualities," he said.
 
"We want to be ready for all eventualities, including 'no deal', a possibility that has been mentioned again recently by several British ministers," he said. "In practice, 'no deal' would worsen the 'lose-lose' situation which is bound to result from Brexit. And the U.K. would have more to lose than its partners."
 
In the event of a 'no deal' departure, warnings of extortionate tariffs and customs duties was given by Barnier who served as the European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services before taking up the role of chief Brexit negotiator.
 
World Trade Organization rules would form the basis of EU trade relations with the U.K. if there is no deal, he said.
 
"There would be customs duties of almost 10 percent on vehicle imports, an average of 19 percent for alcoholic beverages, and an average of 12 percent on lamb and fish, for which the vast majority of British exports go to the EU," he said.
 
In divorce talks with the EU, U.K. could leave without a formal deal being reached, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has previously said. In a phrase which also made an appearance in her Conservative Party's manifesto during last month's general election, she said in a speech in January that "no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain".
 
The U.K. government remained committed to exiting the customs union, said Liam Fox, the U.K.'s international trade secretary. "We want Britain to be able to negotiate our own trade agreements with old and new allies across the globe," he said in a blog post on Thursday. "That means leaving the customs union and establishing a trade policy tailored for our business, our economy, and our citizens."
 
Pessimism over Brexit talks was criticized by Fox while addressing U.K. parliament. "At 9.30 this morning we published figures that showed a record-breaking number of foreign direct investment projects came in to the UK in 2016/17, at 2,265, and that's safeguarding nearly 108,000 jobs or creating new jobs in the UK," he said. "No doubt the usual suspects will describe it as 'despite Brexit'."
 
There was no mention of Britain's membership of the single market by the minister.
 
(Source:www.cnbc.com) 






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