Time to turn Brexit speeches into treaties: EC president

  • Time to turn Brexit speeches into treaties: EC president

Time to turn Brexit speeches into treaties: EC president

If the European Union (EU) and Britain are to reach an understanding on their future relationship, London should provide more clarity on its view about it, Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, told the European Parliament here Tuesday.

"To turn commitments into agreements".

"As the clock counts down with one year to go it is now time to translate speeches into treaties", Juncker said.

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.

"There was this Mansion House speech by Mrs".

In a message to Mrs May ahead of next week's European Council summit, Juncker said the EU needed "more clarity on how the United Kingdom sees its future relationship". "It's still lacking", he said.

Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator, said he was "surprised" that the prime minister had expected it to accept her demands in the Mansion House speech.

European Commission president told MEPs he needed "specific proposals" from the UK.

This is especially important when it comes to Ireland.

Britain has said it will adhere to EU regulations for a time-limited period after it leaves the European Union in March 2019, and hopes the details of this transition, or implementation period, will be finalised at a summit with the EU on March 22-24.

"I recommend that we keep a close eye on the regulatory divergence, this dumping", he said, warning that it could become a key obstacle if Britain wants to get a smooth exit from the EU.

Juncker said: 'The 27 member states stand firm and united when it comes to Ireland.

The draft EU text published last month says Northern Ireland must stay in a customs union with the rest of the bloc if no better way is found to avoid a hard Irish border - which Britain rejects. "That is what it means to be part of this union".

'I would rather have preferred Britain not to have chose to leave the European Union, but anyone who leaves the European Union has to know, frankly, what this means, ' he said. If you made a decision to jettison, leave behind, the common agreements and rules then you have to accept that things can not remain what they are ...

One shouted at him: 'It's a British issue'.

"The EU is bullying us", he said, before urging Theresa May "to do what Trump has done and stand strong against the European Commission, against the unelected bullies".

"The UK is choosing to leave the union, the single market and the customs union, we have noted that".

Delivering a damning verdict on May's speech, the Parliament's Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt said, "It is mainly repeating the red lines that we know already two years".