No parallel Brexit and trade talks, EU's Barnier insists


The British government's desire to hold parallel talks on the withdrawal and the future relationship with the European Union is "a very risk approach", EU's Chief Negotiator for Brexit Michel Barnier said Wednesday.

When he accused MEPs of behaving like the mafia, the parliament's Italian President Antonio Tajani intervened to object.

"What you could have done is acknowledge that we have put net over 200 billion sterling into this project, we're actually shareholders. and you should be making us an offer we can't refuse - to go", he said, while calling the EU's divorce demands "vindictive and nasty". "I will change it to gangsters and that is how we are being treated".

"And we from our side must pay tribute to Britain's vast contributions - a staunch, unmatched defender of free markets and civil liberties".

Adopted by 516 votes in favor to 133 against, with 50 abstentions, the resolution establishes the key principles by which the European Parliament will be willing to greenlight the outcomes of Brexit negotiations. "If you wish to have no deal, if you want to force us to move from the table, we will".

The guidelines, which Weber called "red lines", reinforce the draft guidelines unveiled last Friday by EU President Donald Tusk, who represents the member states.

Following the meeting, European Union (EU) sources said both sides had recognised the need to "lower tensions" on contentious issues like the future of the Rock.

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It also said the unsettled political situation is likely to weaken "standards of governance and public finances". The move came four days after Standard and Poor's had also downgraded South Africa's credit rating to junk.

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Parliament must approve the final Brexit deal struck between the European Union and British negotiators.

The European People's Party (EPP) - led by Manfred Weber - made it clear that the overriding principle behind the talks would be the protection of EU citizens' rights and freedoms. You know we don't have to buy German cars, we don't have to drink French wine, we don't have to eat Belgian chocolate. "There are a lot of other people that will give that to us".

She conceded that there would have to be time for businesses to adjust to trade after Brexit.

Meanwhile, Britain's economy has probably slowed from its strong growth of late a year ago and a cooling jobs market and hefty price increases will become increasingly apparent as Brexit gets underway, according to a survey published on yesterday.

The orders from MEPs - who wield a powerful veto over the final deal - include the United Kingdom keeping similar competition, trade and social policies in exchange for a trade deal.

Taken together, the PMIs for manufacturing, construction and services published this week suggest economic growth will slow to around 0.4 percent in the first quarter from 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016, data firm IHS Markit said.

While parliament tried to distance itself from the war of words over Gibraltar in recents days, Farage also insisted that the British enclave was "clearly a deal breaker".