Time's up, make a choice - European Union warns Brexit Britain

Time's up, make a choice - European Union warns Brexit Britain

Time's up, make a choice - European Union warns Brexit Britain

Speaking after a meeting with his British counterpart David Davis and the Prime Minister Theresa May, Barnier said: "Time has come for the United Kingdom to make its choice on the future relations with the block".

But Mr Jenkin urged the prime minister and ensure, among other things, Britain leaves the single market and customs union.

Barnier spoke after a brief meeting with British prime minister Theresa May and her Brexit negotiator, David Davis, ahead of the first round of talks this year.

But he added: "If you look at Mrs May, it seems to be quite clear she does it because it's her duty to do it".

Downing Street rules out continued membership of any form of the EU customs union after Brexit.

Chancellor Philip Hammond has been privately pushing for parts of the economy to stay in the customs union until Britain has struck trade deals with nations such as the US, China and Japan, which could take many years.

"Because I read for example, "we don't want a soft Brexit", I read "we don't want a hard Brexit", I read "we don't want a customs union", I read "we don't want to contribute to the EU budget in the future".

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Local political parties were also split on the matter, with the DUP's Sammy Wilson saying he welcomed the "clarification" from the Prime Minister. "Speaking on Marr, Amber Rudd said she was "not intimidated" by Brexiteers" warnings over the customs union.

In what No 10 clearly thought would be a move popular with some elements of the party and some newspapers, Mrs May told journalists on the RAF jet that she was prioritising a hard line on post-2019 European Union arrivals in the negotiations with the European Union during the transition. Most importantly, they'll want to know what will replace the customs union and how they can safeguard their organizations. We are seeing a country that is really going backwards instead of forwards.

Later, Davis's negotiating team will meet their European Union counterparts in Brussels for the first talks on a transition period, plus how to enforce the divorce treaty and ensure there is no "hard" land border with Ireland.

For now, The Times's Sam Coates says, a compromise is being prepared for a time-limited extension to elements of the existing customs union.

Last month at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Mr Hammond caused fury among Brexiteers when he suggested Britain's relationship with the European Union might only change "very modestly" after withdrawal.

Last week, Conservative MP Anna Soubry launched an outspoken attack on "hard Brexiteers" on the Tory benches who she said would "not hesitate to destroy this party" in order to get what they wanted.

"We've said in terms we want a comprehensive free trade agreement and with it a customs agreement", he said. However, this was later dismissed by the Justice minister Dominic Raab, who told Sky News that: "I don't think we'll be in any form of customs union, at least as conceived in worldwide trade practice".

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