EU influencers rebuke suggestion of a UK trade deal during the transition period
Countries throughout the EU have expressed an unwillingness towards facilitating a UK-EU trade deal whilst a transitional period is ongoing.
Guy Verhofstadt, the European parliament’s lead coordinator on Brexit, has named current proposals, including ‘invisible borders’ a ‘fantasy’, instead calling for citizens’ rights to be secured and a financial settlement reached.
The British government published proposals on Tuesday for “a new customs arrangement that facilitates the freest and most frictionless trade possible in goods between the UK and the EU”.
The paper called for “a continued close association with the EU customs union for a time-limited period after the UK has left the EU” in March 2019, whilst acknowledging that any new arrangements would have to respect the EU’s transition terms.
Writing on Twitter, Michel Barnier the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, said: “The quicker #UK & EU27 agree on citizens, settling accounts and #Ireland, the quicker we can discuss customs & future relationship.”