EU 'cannot cherry pick' terms of Brexit deal
2 January 2018, 03:54
Brexit Secretary David Davis has warned the EU negotiators they cannot "cherry pick" the terms of any free trade deal with Britain.
In words that echo those frequently used by the bloc's chief negotiator Michel Barnier, Mr Davis said Britain would not entertain a deal that took some areas of the existing economic relationship but not others.
Writing for the Daily Telegraph, Mr Davis said Britain wanted "the full sweep of economic co-operation" and that financial services must not be excluded from any agreement - despite Mr Barnier's insistence last month that such an arrangement would not be possible.
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"I do not believe the strength of this co-operation needs change because we are leaving the European Union," Mr Davis said.
"Many of these principles can be applied to services trade too. Given the strength and breadth of the pan-European economic relationship, a deal that took in some areas of our economic relationship but not others would be, in the favoured phrase of EU diplomats, cherry picking."
He also warned that the City of London would inevitably face curbs on access, with Mr Barnier having ruled out a "special deal" for the capital.
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Mr Davis' article comes as the Government faces pressure to provide more clarity for business as the next phase of exit talks begin, with Bank of England governor Mark Carney having warned that dozens of European banks face costly consequences if the UK and EU fail to achieve cooperation.
The Government successfully made its way through phase one of the negotiations before the end of 2017, but the Prime Minister was dealt a blow on the cusp of the new year by the resignation of infrastructure tsar Lord Adonis, who slammed Brexit as a "nationalist spasm".
Any second referendum on Britain's EU membership has been repeatedly ruled out - and ministers are insistent that Britain will definitely be leaving in March 2019.
(c) Sky News 2018: EU 'cannot cherry pick' terms of Brexit deal