Europe’s chief negotiator plans for the next phase of Britain’s divorce from EU

Vastavam web: Europe’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier today lays out his plans for the next phase of Britain’s divorce from the European Union, aiming to harden his demands for a UK-EU transition period after Brexit.The development comes after EU leaders last week signed off on the first stage of Brexit negotiations ending more than a year of stalemate over Britain’s bill for leaving the bloc, as well the fate of the Irish border and EU migrants.Once agreed, negotiations can then move on to future relations for the longer term, with Britain hoping to complete a trade deal as early as possible.

Barnier is widely expected to demand a transition that obliges Britain to adhere to all EU rules, but without a say, during a period of around two years.”Commission negotiators will argue that the UK will have to replicate EU membership in all its facets,” said Mujtaba Rahman of Eurasia Group, a risk consultancy.Leading conservative lawmaker Jacob Rees-Mogg slammed this demand as “rather hostile”, leaving the UK “no more than a vassal state, a colony, a serf of the European Union”.

May insisted to British lawmakers on Monday that the transition is necessary as it would provide continuity for businesses and individuals until the future relationship could be resolved.She repeated that Britain would be leaving the EU’s single market and customs union, but said the transition arrangements were “a practical matter that most people will understand and appreciate”.The next phase comes as Barnier ruffled feathers in London yesterday with a warning that any ties after Brexit would inevitably result in Britain’s financial companies losing full rights to trade across the bloc.