Time to turn Brexit speeches into treaties, Juncker tells May

EU Throws Down Gauntlet to May

European Union President Donald Tusk

Jyrki Katainen also gives us the European Commission's take on other pressing issues, including moves to dump non-reusable plastics from our daily lives and clean up our oceans; and the latest steps towards merging at least some aspects of defence and the military in Europe.

Diplomats, who have been revising the document published by the European Commission two weeks ago, have added an entire section on "good faith".

The British government says this was settled in negotiations a year ago and that the European Union have changed the agreement.

Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered a speech earlier this week that made the case for preferential access for Britain's financial services industry to the EU single market but hopes were dampened after European Council president Donald Tusk said Brussels was aiming for a free trade agreement that would scrap tariffs on goods, but provide limited access for services after Brexit.

They claim a loophole in the Prime Minister's Brexit tactics means that she will be legally obliged to offer a second vote.

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One of the big Brexit sticking-points centers on the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

"From 2020-21 onwards, we have maintained our assumption that financial-sector profit growth will be weaker than the whole economy average, given that the sector is likely to be disproportionately affected by the UK's exit from the EU".

Negative effects from the approach of Brexit were already apparent, the BDI pointed out, with Britain dropping from second- to fifth-most-important trade partner for Germany previous year.

Or as much of it as I could find, anyway, as in truth, it is often far from clear where one jurisdiction begins and the other one ends.

"It is clear that the Irish Government needs to urgently increase the lobbying for the Irish fishing sector within the Brexit negotiations, the proximity of Irish and British fishing grounds mean that one can not function without the other - fishing stocks do not recognise territorial water boundaries".

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Juncker said the controversial "backstop" proposal for dealing with the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic "translates faithfully" the agreement reached between May and the European Union in December. It is certainly true that elements within the European Union, led by President Macron of France, are willing to look again at the question of freedom of movement, but the irony is that the United Kingdom is leaving just as the European Union, spurred on by events such as the Italian election results, is getting around to the issue.

"And I do believe that rationality, common sense will win the day if we conduct ourselves with decorum and patience and I think therefore it's in all our interests to keep the temperature down".

If the talks progress the most likely outcome is a trade deal along the lines of that agreed between the European Union and Canada, perhaps covering a bit more ground.

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