Published: Thu, March 15, 2018
Markets | By Rosalie Gross

Britain will 'live to regret' Brexit, says Juncker

Britain will 'live to regret' Brexit, says Juncker

The taoiseach's comments came as Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president, issued a similar warning to the United Kingdom that it would come to regret its decision to leave.

Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29, 2019 but is looking to agree a transition agreement for a period after Brexit in order to smooth out the impact.

EU Council President Donald Tusk warned last week that the Irish border issue must be solved before negotiations can move on to other issues.

Agreeing a transition period after Britain's formal departure from the European Union bloc by next week is tricky, as London and Brussels are at loggerheads over how to organize the border between the Republic of Ireland and British province Northern Ireland.

"If nerve gas was actively used against civilians in one of our member states, I believe that the European Council should, in clear terms, express its full solidarity with the British people and the British government in addressing this issue", said Timmermans, who as Dutch foreign minister accused Russian Federation of downing an airliner flying from Amsterdam over Ukraine in 2014.

Jens Stoltenberg, secretary-general of the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance, said the attack was "horrendous".

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The suggestion that the Irish border is a European issue was heckled by one MEP, who shouted: "It is a British issue".

Any less comprehensive free-trade agreement in lieu of customs union membership would carry the risk of logistical bottlenecks and inevitably lead to an increase in the cost and bureaucratic burden associated with trade, he added.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier defended a proposal for the EU to continue to regulate trade in the North after Brexit, should no other ways emerge to avoid a hard border.

German companies are still preparing for a range of outcomes to the negotiations between Britain and the European Union, including the scenario of a hard Brexit in which no agreement was reached, Lang said, adding that next week's European Union summit would be crucial. But Barnier said it dealt with the realities on the ground.

The European Parliament's Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt also called for more details from Ms May.

"Ms May, we did not vote for a transition period, we voted to leave this organisation, we voted to leave the customs union, we voted to leave the single market", he said.

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