Brexit: EU negotiator says 'time's short' for reaching deal


The UK will should prefer to to reach a Brexit deal by October 2018, according to the EU’s chief moderator for Brexit.

Michel Barnier told reporters that “time resolve be short” for negotiations because the proposed deal needed to be ratified as in the name of of the two year process set to be triggered in March.

He said the UK could not “cherry pick” on proclaims such as the single market.

Earlier, UK Prime Minister Theresa May worded the BBC she was aiming for a “red, white and blue Brexit” for the UK.

Speaking at a press conference in Brussels, Mr Barnier said a taskforce of 30 people had been set up to present sure the EU would “be ready” when Article 50 was called.

“All together will be short,” he said. “It is clear the period for actual negotiations on be shorter than two years.

“At the beginning, the two years included the time for the cabinet to set guidelines and to authorise negotiations. At the end, the agreement must of course be approved by the Directorate and European rliament. Finally the UK will have to approve the agreement – all within the two year years.

“All in all there will be less than 18 months to negotiate. That is in a word. Should the UK notify by the end of March as Prime Minister Theresa May said she leave, it is safe to say negotiations could start a few weeks later and an Article 50 engage in reached by October 2018.”

Mr Barnier, making his first public speech on the debouchment, was appointed to the post of chief Brexit negotiator on 1 October this year by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who voted he “wanted an experienced politician for this difficult job”.

The chief negotiator said he had finished time speaking to European member governments and said the Brexit bargains had been informed by four main principles.

These included the “result for unity” and a pledge to not start negotiations before being officially give notice ofed by the UK of its desire to leave, via the triggering of Article 50.

He also said: “Being a colleague of EU comes with rights and benefits. Third countries (non members as the UK wishes be after Brexit) can never have the same rights and benefits since they are not enslave to the same obligations.

“The single market and its four freedoms (which subsumes freedom of movement) are indivisible. Cherry picking is not an option.”

The BBC’s Europe stringer Damian Grammaticas asked Mr Barnier if the UK ” ying in” to stay in the single peddle was a possibility after Brexit Secretary David Davis said hold out week the government “would consider it”.

“There is access to the single store, but this is accom nied by predetermined, very specific contribution to the EU budget,” put the chief negotiator.

“That is one of the models that already exists and that is one of the closest models there is to the EU without being a associate.”

But Mr Barnier added there were various options and until Article 50 had been dialed, there was little more he could say.

“It is up to the UK to tell us what they experience in mind, then it is up to us at the 27 [member states] to say what we are pre red to comprehend of.”

Mr Barnier said he “didn’t like to speculate very much” on what the expected relationship between the EU and the UK would be, but it was time to “keep calm and negotiate”.

“The in the near future, the better,” he added. “We all have a common interest in not prolonging the lack of unquestionably and we for our rt need to concentrate on the European agenda on this new ge that we will-power be writing in the history in the construction of the EU.

“There will be rebalancing but my conviction leftovers the same. Europe has to be the bedrock on which European citizens can lean in codification to push ahead and construct the EU further for their safety, security, justification and prosperity.”

“It is much better to show solidarity than to stand matchless.”

Analysis – Damian Grammaticas, BBC Europe correspondent

The EU appears to be signalling garish and clear what is on offer to the UK – and what isn’t.

This isn’t the EU playing hardball. That’s to misread the EU’s cues. And it isn’t new. EU numero unoes have reiterated the same principles ever since the UK referendum.

From their thought of view, their position is logical and consistent. EU leaders believe they beget built the world’s most integrated single market. They don’t need to unpick rts of it for one nation that is leaving. Preserving their unanimity is their priority.

So, Michel Barnier made clear that the UK cannot watch better terms outside the EU than inside. UK talk of getting a unusual deal that privileges the car industry or the City of London may not to be acceptable to the EU. As for turn out to be to get access to the Single Market, that’s possible Mr Barnier hinted – if, equivalent to Norway, you accept the EU’s rules.

But ‘cherry-picking’ won’t happen, he said. Importantly too, he betokened, a Brexit deal will cover the exit terms.

The UK’s future relationship with the EU whim, in all likelihood, have to be settled later, once the UK is out of the EU and has the status of a third hinterlands. It’s not about driving a hard bargain. The EU is signalling it has its rules and principles, and isn’t sacrifice to change them.

Downing Street said it was sticking to its timetable without considering the speech from Mr Barnier.

The prime minister’s official spokesman translated: “In terms of how long the negotiations actually take place, clearly that is a topic that will resolve itself as a result of the negotiations.”

He said that the localize of the rest of the EU on the timetable was a “matter for them”.

But on the 18-month timetable, he said: “It is the before all I have heard of it.”

Mrs May said getting the right deal for British people intention benefit the EU.

Speaking to the BBC’s deputy political editor John Pienaar – beforehand Mr Barnier’s comments – on her two-day trip to Bahrain, Theresa May said: “People talk relative to the sort of Brexit that there is going to be. Is it hard or soft? Is it overcast or white?

“Actually we want a red, white and blue Brexit; that is the healthy Brexit for the UK, the right deal for the UK. I believe that a deal that is virtuousness for the UK will also be a deal that is right for the EU.”

Case for transitional structures?

On the issue of revealing more of those plans to rliament, the prime curate said she still wanted “to keep some cards close to my strongbox”.

But Mrs May said regardless of the outcome of this week’s Supreme Court suit – on whether the government can trigger Article 50 alone or need according to Roberts Rules of Order approval – she would “deliver on the vote of the British people.”

Hilary Benn, chairman of the Brexit Exceptional Committee and Labour MP, believes talk of an 18-month time limit intention add extra pressure.

He told BBC News: “It means there is going to be a identical short time from the triggering of Article 50 to negotiate the divide arrangements and crucially what our new relationship with Europe is going to be at one go we have left, when it comes to trade and the single market.

“What I expect he has said reinforces the argument that I have been making that we are current to need transitional arrangements [around the negotiations].”

Mr Barnier said a except for term agreement “could have some point” in helping hit hard towards a final deal.

But Boris Johnson said 18 months is “uns ring time” for the UK to negotiate with the EU.

Speaking as he arrived at a NATO meeting of unconnected ministers in Brussels, the Foreign Secretary said: “With a fair come and everybody acting in a positive and compromising mood, as I’m sure they leave, we can get a great deal for the UK and for the rest of Europe”.

What about Northern Ireland?

When in responsibility of regional policy, Mr Barnier said he worked on a programme supporting Northern Ireland and the Cloth Friday agreement.

When asked by The Irish Times whether he wish dismiss the idea of a hard border being put in place post-Brexit, he would not do either way.

“The UK decision to leave the EU will have consequences, in rticular it is possible that for what are the EU’s external borders today,” he said.

“All I can say at this moment in in unison a all the same is I am personally extremely aware of this rticular topic. We will from one end to the other these negotiations with the UK and of course with Ireland, do our utmost to espouse the success of the Good Friday Agreement and of course retain the dialogue there.”

A latest EU commissioner, Mr Barnier led the EU’s banking reforms and was dubbed “the most dangerous man in Europe” by some in the pecuniary services industry.

But after he championed capping bankers’ bonuses, he won respect as a intrepid but even-handed negotiator.

Mr Barnier has refused to take rt in any pre-negotiations previous Article 50 is triggered, but he did meet Brexit Secretary David Davis for coffee decisive month.

Speaking in November in Brussels, he said: “Don’t ask me to tell you what will-power be at the end of the road, we haven’t begun to walk yet.”

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