EU's chief negotiator: Single market benefits not possible for United Kingdom after Brexit

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EU's chief negotiator: Single market benefits not possible for United Kingdom after Brexit

"I am not sure whether they have been fully understood across the Channel", he said.

She set out her plan after the European Commission's chief negotiator Michel Barnier rebuffed claims by Mr Davis that a free trade deal could deliver the "exact same benefits" as membership of the single market. Likewise, those who argue that you can leave the single market and build a customs union to achieve "frictionless trade" are wrong. "We're going into an arrangement with the European Union already with zero tariffs, we're going there with complete regulatory equivalence and with customs systems that already work", Fox told Reuters during a visit to Paris.

Barnier emphasised that this was based on a decision - that he personally regretted - that the British had made: "There is no punishment for Brexit". And of course no spirit of revenge.

When asked which areas of their business have been positively affected by Brexit- including sales or leads, business relationships, bottom line, business development, product or service sourcing and hiring staff- 76% said "none of the above" have been positively affected, with only 12% saying sales and leads have benefited. "But Brexit has a cost, also for business in the EU27, and businesses should assess with lucidity the negative consequences of the United Kingdom choice on trade and investment and prepare to manage that".

A handful of banks have recently said that they were setting up subsidiaries in Frankfurt as they prepare for Brexit, including Nomura Holdings Inc and Daiwa Securities Group. She argued that staying inside the Single Market and Customs Union until a deal is in place is the "simplest route and a common-sense solution", giving both negotiating teams time to iron out details and instil confidence in companies across Europe.

Around 40 per cent of Britain's exports are services, with 60 per cent goods - an unusually higher proportion of services than most other countries. Barnier repeated European Union willingness to make a priority of agreeing border issues on Ireland, where leaders on all sides fear a "hard" frontier could also undermine the fragile peace in the British province of Northern Ireland.

Gavin Patterson of BT Carolyn Mc Call of Easyjet and Dave Lewis of Tesco
GettyGavin Patterson of BT Carolyn Mc Call of Easyjet and Dave Lewis of Tesco will attend the meeting

He went on, "In reality the "no deal" scenario would aggravate the lose/lose situation, which is a necessary outcome of Brexit".

"There is no reasonable justification for a no deal scenario".

The research suggests thus far, SMEs appear to be dealing well with the uncertainty - that how big an impact Brexit will have on businesses in the future, however, still remains to be seen.

"The best way of reaching an agreement is to create a climate of trust by tackling in the first instance three topics which we regard as priorities and which are inseparable: citizens' rights, the financial settlement and the border issue, especially the Irish border", he said.

"With negotiations underway, the secretary of state for exiting the European Union is determined to bolster the government's engagement with the business community on Brexit", a source said Thursday.

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