Britain can't have it both ways on post-Brexit trade, EU chief warns

ZAGREB (dpa)- European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen warned Britain not to expect to cherry-pick in trade negotiations with the European Union as grappling over London's future relations kicks off.
When it comes to access to the EU's single market - the world's largest trade bloc - "there is a difference [between] being a member state and not," the top EU official said in Zagreb on Friday.
If Britain wants to end the free of movement of people, for example, it should not expect the free movement of goods, services and capital, she added.

There will be trade-offs, von der Leyen said, between market access and how far Britain wants to diverge from EU regulations once the Brexit transition period ends and London is free to forge its own trade deals or change its laws.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson insists that mammoth negotiations on all aspects of the future relations be wrapped up by the end of the year, leaving an 11-month time frame that the EU says is unrealistic.
Following a trip to London with von der Leyen, the EU's lead negotiator Michel Barnier said on Thursday that the bloc should prioritize a trade agreement and a framework for cooperation on fighting crime and terrorism.
Barnier said the commission would be ready on February 1 to propose a negotiating mandate, and expected talks to open in late February or early March. 
The EU executive is set to take stock of negotiations - and whether it will push Johnson for an extension against his express will - in June.

Friday, January 10th 2020

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