Published: Thu, February 13, 2020
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Britain and Brussels at loggerheads on financial services

Britain and Brussels at loggerheads on financial services

It's a stark reminder that although the country technically ended its 47-year membership of the European Union on January 31, a transition period that extends throughout 2020 means it's still bound by the bloc's rules and jurisdiction.

"If this spirit persists, I still see the great danger of an unregulated Brexit after the transition period has ended".

But the comments appear to be a direct contradiction to the promises he himself gave to members of the public in 2016 when he said the United Kingdom would still be able to trade freely within Europe even if it left the EU.

Northern Ireland could be forced to operate in a different time zone from the rest of the UK for half of the year under Boris Johnson's Brexit deal, the UK Parliament's EU Internal Market Sub-Committee has warned in a recent report.

"We are working closely with the vehicle sector", he mentioned.

"I have heard ambition on cutting carbon emissions, ambition on guaranteeing that our firms are competing in full fairness", Von der Leyen said.

"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.

The EU would "retain a free hand to take our own decisions".

"Brexit can not be business as usual", he told the MEPs.

The Prime Minister also signalled his continued ambition to strike a deal with the U.S., telling the "naïve and juvenile anti-Americans" to "grow up and get a grip".

France Britain Brexit
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen talks to EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier

But since then, Johnson has dialled back on that scope and his government has signalled it is willing to accept trade friction as the cost of exercising sovereignty.

But he said the United Kingdom would also have the freedom to diverge and regulate in a different way from the rules set in Brussels.

One way Johnson's government is preparing the ground for a possible no deal is to say that it would be happy trading with the European Union on the same terms as Australia - a country now striving to work out a trade accord with the bloc.

Von der Leyen said she was surprised, however, that Johnson recently mentioned the "Australian model", as the European Union does now not have a trade agreement with Australia, but was looking to change that.

"Come what may, on January 1 we will be imposing checks on all products entering the single market, just as we do to every other third country in the world", he said.

The European Commission's pointman on Brexit, Michel Barnier, who is to handle the negotiations, has already set out many of those conditions.

"Brexit won't be a success in the long term".

Being out of step with some European countries could have huge implications in terms of transport, tourism and trade for the UK.

The chief executive of the Port of Dover, Britain's biggest port, told Reuters last month that a new customs system would have to be introduced across the country to prevent border checks from blocking its biggest trade arteries.

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