Michel Barnier says Brexit talks to start hours after general election

Posted May 18, 2017

Raffaele Fitto (Italy), speaking on behalf of the European Conservatives and Reformer's group, thought the negotiations "should be based on creating a relationship with the United Kingdom which allows us to review the way that the EU works and to understand why the British people thought they would be better off outside the EU than in it".

"The UK must be aware that any free trade agreement will have to ensure a level playing field and encompass safeguards against unfair competitive advantages", Tusk told MEPs at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France.

The French diplomat said: "I would appreciate it if the United Kingdom would work in the spirit of agreement with the European Union, rather than against it".

Any trade deal linking the EU and Britain after Brexit will require guarantees against "unfair competition" by the UK, EU Council President Donald Tusk said on Wednesday (May 17).

Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage earlier warned Britain could walk away from talks by the end of the year as a result of Jean-Claude Juncker's "bloody rude" behaviour and attempt to "bully the Brits".

She added if Britain, for example, says only 100,000 or 200,000 EU citizens are allowed into the country, "we would have to think about what obstacle we create from the European side to compensate for that".

"In fact, I very much appreciate on the United Kingdom side you could find the same spirit to reach a deal with the European Union, not against the European Union". The figures will depend on the methodology we adopt and the actual date of the UK's exit.

Barnier confirmed he expects to start talks after the British election on June 8.

Brexit has forced the European Union to rethink its flagship capital markets union (CMU) project and urgently look for ways to create an alternative financial market to London, according to a draft EU document seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

"The fact that elections take place just..." It is not Mr Barnier who is going to set a figure.

One specific new tool for cutting immigration - to the reaffirmed target of "tens of thousands" (though it is a target without a deadline) - will be a doubling to £2000 in the annual charge levied on companies for each skilled worker they bring to the United Kingdom from the rest of the EU.

"I'm going to do it perfectly calmly".

He described a situation in which the details of confidential conversations were "blabbed to an opposition newspaper", adding: "And then a few days later, in a display of extreme petulance, you even deride the national language of the host - which, by the way, is looking a bit silly because last Saturday's extravaganza knowns as the Eurovision Song Contest saw 90% of the songs sung in English".