European Union open to 'unique' trade deal with post-Brexit UK

  • European Union open to 'unique' trade deal with post-Brexit UK

European Union open to 'unique' trade deal with post-Brexit UK

The government of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson insists it will not seek to extend the transition.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen pointed out that even Australia wants a better trading relationship with the bloc than the one it now has.

The remarks on London's influential finance industry come one week after Catherine McGuinness, policy chair of the City of London Corporation, declared she was hopeful that a financial services deal can be reached with Brussels by the end of 2020.

Colum Eastwood said any trade barriers with the European Union would see Northern Ireland businesses face new financial, logistics and supply burdens.

The chair of the European Parliament's United Kingdom co-ordination group, David McAllister, told MEPs the EU had to protect the single market - the United Kingdom couldn't have the same rights as a member state and a level playing field for fair competition was a pre-condition for a free trade agreement.

Boris Johnson set his sights on Australia in a speech on global trade last week, as well has countries such as Japan, New Zealand and Canada. "But all these models, whatever you choose, have one thing in common - they all come not only with rights but also with obligations for both sides".

"Australia without any doubt is a strong and a like-minded partner", Von der Leyen told MEPs. In the event that no trade agreement is in place between the two parties involved, they will have to fall back on the World Trade Organization (WTO) terms.

Speaking to the European Parliament, Ms von der Leyen responded to Britain's moves bracing for a possible no deal on trade by saying: "If this is the British choice, well, we are fine with that without any question".

"The opening of our markets, access to data and equivalence for financial services will be proportional to the commitments made to respect a true level playing field, regulatory coherence, protection of citizens and financial stability", Barnier said.

He wrote: "Each side will only grant equivalence if it believes the other's regulations are compatible". This could potentially mean a one-hour difference with the rest of the United Kingdom for half of the year, when London switches back to Greenwich Mean Time in autumn, while Northern Ireland goes on with summer time.

"We will keep control of these tools, and we will retain the free hand to take our own decisions", Barnier added.

Javid called European leaders to consider the UK's financial sector "equivalent" as a whole, given that its regulation is as tight as the European one.

However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit withdrawal agreement with the European Union says that checks and controls will be required on goods travelling from Great Britain to Northern Ireland that go on to the Republic, effectively creating a border in the Irish Sea. The UK's Chancellor reacted to the British Retail Consortium's (BRC) warning that border checks on imports could cause fresh food supply problems.