Money EU, Britain to start trade talks next week

02:06  15 april  2018
02:06  15 april  2018 Source:   reuters.com

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Britain and the European Union will start talks next week on their future trade relationship after Brexit, diplomats said on Thursday. The other 27 EU leaders adopted their joint stance for the trade talks last month.

FILE PHOTO - The British flag flies next to European flags at the European Commission in Brussels © REUTERS/Yves Herman FILE PHOTO - The British flag flies next to European flags at the European Commission in Brussels Britain and the European Union will start talks next week on their future trade relationship after Brexit, diplomats said on Thursday.

Britain will leave the EU next March and enjoy a status-quo transition until the end of 2020, according to the current plan.

Then, a new relationship between the sides would kick in, which negotiators from London and the EU will start discussing for the first time in Brussels on Monday.

The other 27 EU leaders adopted their joint stance for the trade talks last month. Although it has been informally shared with London, one diplomat said the EU's position would be formally presented to the British negotiators next week.

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British and European Union negotiators will spend all next week in talks on Brexit, culminating in their first formal discussion of what their future relationship will look like after Britain has left the EU . If they cannot meet the deadline of the March summit, the start of trade talks could be pushed back

EU LEADERS will next week green-light preparations of post–Brexit trade talks with Britain in the first sign of a concession from Brussels. It ended any chance trade talks being given the nod to start next week as planned.

"The UK has had a couple of weeks to reflect on that, analyse that. So for next week I'd hope and expect them to come tell us what they think, tell us more about how the UK sees the future relationship," another diplomat said.

Diplomats said, however, that there has been no substantial progress on the Irish border conundrum in continued talks since the March EU summit, where British Prime Minister Theresa May also secured the 21-month transition phase after Brexit.

Related: Is Brexit Impacting the Economy or the Economy Impacting Brexit Negotiations?(Bloomberg)

Both sides have vowed to avoid physical border checks on the island of Ireland for fear of reigniting sectarian violence there, but the EU says this would not be possible under Britain's plan to also leave the bloc's single market and customs union.

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JEAN-CLAUDE Juncker has warned Britain will need “miracles” if it wants to start discussing future relations with the EU next month. EU bosses demand Brexit trade talks POSTPONED. Following the latest round of talks this week , the EU 's negotiator Mr Barnier said Mrs May's speech had created

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union expects to offer a first signal next week that enough progress has been made in Brexit talks to 27 remaining EU states were willing to give Britain what it had been asking for a long time -- a start to negotiations on a future trade pact -- after the makings

The sources said Britain was sticking to its proposal to use the latest technology to make border checks seamless. But the EU has dismissed the idea of a "digital border" as unrealistic, with one diplomat denouncing it as an "elves and ferries" solution.

In refusing to comment in detail on the latest border talks, Ireland's EU Commissioner Phil Hogan told a news conference on Thursday they were at a "crunch point".

Unless a better solution is found, the EU has prepared an emergency mechanism under which it would go on regulating trade in Northern Ireland after Brexit. This, however, is anathema to London where it is seen as weakening the British province's links to the rest of the country.

"We have to find an operative solution that would enable maintaining the unity of the internal market while we do not have to build a physical, hard border," the EU's Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, said separately in Prague.

The EU has offered Britain an extensive free trade agreement for their future deal, but one that falls short of the "bespoke" deal London has sought.

There will be an EU-UK negotiating round every two weeks before the next meeting of the bloc's leaders due in June.

The bloc also wants to iron out the lingering differences over Britain's withdrawal, including the Irish border, the exact role of the EU's top court and expatriate rights.

(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski, Gabriela Baczynska and Alastair Macdonald in Brussels, and Robert Muller in Prague; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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