The European Union has set out its demands for the temporary transition period after the UK leaves in March 2019, and EU wants the UK to continue to follow its rules but not be involved in making decisions.
The German government on Wednesday sought to pour cold water over Britain's hopes of a bespoke post-Brexit arrangement for financial services. German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman told reporters that Berlin's focus would remain on preserving a unified stance among the 27 EU nations as Brexit negotiations prepare to enter a critical phase. Britain's financial services industry is expected to be one the main battlegrounds in the next stage of talks.
Nigel Farage, who as leader of the UK Independence Party was one of the leading campaigners for Britain to leave the European Union, crossed swords with one of his main EU adversaries. After meeting Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, for about 30 minutes in Brussels, Farage said he was convinced that the Frenchman doesn’t understand why more than 17 million people voted for the UK to leave in the 2016 referendum.
The European Union wants a transition period after Brexit to end no later than the last day of 2020, according to the European Commission's negotiating directives agreed on Wednesday. That date, coinciding with the end of the EU's seven-year budget period and 21 months after Britain departs the EU, had long been expected as the target end point of the transition.
The European Union has dashed the British government's hopes of carving out a special arrangement to allow City firms to trade freely in the EU if Britain leaves the single market. Michel Barnier, the European Commission's chief Brexit negotiator, said he was not open to a free trade agreement including financial services.
Theresa May is due to meet her “Brexit cabinet” - about a dozen of her most senior ministers - to discuss for the first time what the UK's future relationship with the EU should be. The PM will later tell MPs the UK wants to sign trade deals during what she calls an implementation period.
Britain and the EU face a “furious race against time” to agree a transition deal and future trade relations within the next 10 months, European Council president Donald Tusk has said. In a letter to the leaders of the 27 remaining EU states ahead of a crucial summit on December 14-15, Mr Tusk urged them to show continued “unity” as Brexit negotiations enter their second phase.
The European Union's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, says he is planning for the possible collapse of Brexit negotiations with the UK. Barnier was talking to French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche days after giving the UK a two-week deadline to clarify key issues.
Brexit negotiations should accelerate over the months to come, says a joint statement from the UK prime minister and the president of the EU Commission. Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker met in Brussels on Monday for a dinner they called constructive and friendly.
The European Union's chief negotiator on Brexit talks says negotiations with the United Kingdom are stuck in a state of deadlock. The EU wants to know what divorce bill Britain is prepared to pay before talks go any further. British officials, on the other hand, want to begin trade talks now, before they commit billions.