Tusk threat to 'freeze' Brexit talks until Irish get deal

The US has signalled it could exempt certain countries from planned steel and aluminium tariffsMore

That's pushed the European Union to consider a traditional free trade association as the best option available to both sides.

The draft resolution, prepared by the European Parliament's Brexit Steering Group and approved by the Conference of Presidents (President and political group leaders) on 7 March, suggests that an EU-UK association agreement could provide an appropriate framework for the future relationship.

The full text of the prime minister's speech is available here.

"We need to receive specific proposals from the U.K.", Juncker told a plenary session of the Parliament in Strasbourg during a speech to MEPs in which he repeated his demand for "clarity" from the British government.

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

A report by Oliver Wyman management consultants and law firm Clifford Chance released on Monday showed companies in Britain and the European Union face an extra 58 billion pounds ($80 billion) in annual costs if there is a no-deal Brexit.

An association agreement would give "a vision, an architecture" to post-Brexit relations and avoid a repetition of the complex web of individual agreements the European Union has with Switzerland.

Mr Juncker also caused fury among British MEPs as he used a speech at the European Parliament to claim that the Irish border was a "European issue".

A draft joint position from the remaining 27 European Union members, seen by Reuters ahead of its official publication later today, said the bloc was determined to foster a close partnership with Britain.

The danger, Juncker claimed, was that the prime minister's goal of an "enduring" Brexit agreement would not be met, and the United Kingdom would be locked in constant and destabilising negotiations with Brussels for many years to come.

"After Brexit there is a big discontinuity in all the trade and services, but we still have a large market and it's supposed to be an interesting opportunity for all the financial institutions", Katainen said. Britain's vast financial sector would be the worst-hit industry.

Jyrki Katainen also gives us the European Commission's take on other pressing issues, including moves to dump non-reusable plastics from our daily lives and clean up our oceans; and the latest steps towards merging at least some aspects of defence and the military in Europe.

In practice however many financial services firms are already taking steps to implement their contingency plans, building their out EU-based operations and moving jobs and roles there.

"I fully respect the Chancellor's competence in defining what is in the UK's interest but he must allow us to define what is in the EU's interest", he said.

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