UK, EU Brexit negotiators meet ahead of second phase

We will use sanctions to punish Britain post-Brexit Brussels vows in leaked documents

Francois Lenoir Reuters

It is not our policy to stay in the customs union.

Confirmation of the UK Government's approach on the customs union may placate Tory MPs and ministers who are keen for a Brexit arrangement which allows the UK to strike trade deals around the world - something which a customs union could have prevented.

The customs union stand will play a crucial role in determining the future of the U.K. -EU bond along with economy of the U.K.

"The talks will focus on implementation (transition) period" to give clarity to governments and business", David said at a joint news conference in London with the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier a day before the start of the second phase of negotiations between the United Kingdom and the bloc.

And Mr Barnier added: "The only thing I can say - without the customs union, outside the single market - barriers to trade and goods and services are unavoidable".

Britain's most agonizing Brexit choice bends towards trade as it has a very hard choice to formulate with a very less time on its hands.

The row comes as the prime minister prepares to welcome the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, to London on Monday. "To govern is to choose", said Lord Bridges, former Brexit minister, urging Mrs May to get a grip as her cabinet holds two key meetings this week to discuss the Brexit "end state".

"We have to, however, in the next few months, arrive at the immediate outcome, the political agreement on the implementation period".

"And to make that as frictionless as possible".

"The EU is a regional trade bloc but I don't believe that it has ever been part of the objective of the EU to pursue regional free trade and global protectionism".

The Scottish MEP also argued that attempts to damage the British economy with a no-deal Brexit would ultimately affect European Union citizens more than it would Britain.

"Moreover, there is an extant proposal from the EU which could be a good starting point for UK-EU mutual recognition".

Sputnik: We've seen more divisions emerge recently in the Conservative party over Brexit, with some officials contradicting one another on what any post-Brexit customs union arrangement might or might not look like, in what direction do you see negotiations with the EU going if this turmoil continues?

"My feeling is we have not a minute to lose because we want to achieve a deal", he told reporters. "As with all these matters, it's the beginning of a negotiation".

Clegg's speech coincides with the latest round of Brexit talks.

Last month at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Mr Hammond caused fury among Brexiteers when he suggested Britain's relationship with the European Union might only change "very modestly" after withdrawal.

Mr Rees-Mogg stepped up his attack on Monday, as he appeared to blame Chancellor Philip Hammond - who has repeatedly been accused of agitating for a "softer" Brexit - for the "biased" forecasts.

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