Liam Fox: US approach to tariffs wrong, absurd if Britain affected

Anti-Brexit demonstrators wave EU and Union flags outside the Houses of Parliament in London

Anti-Brexit demonstrators wave EU and Union flags outside the Houses of Parliament in London

The President of the European Council made the comments at a joint press conference with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar today. The council is playing hardball. "The real beneficiaries are more likely to be New York, Singapore and Hong Kong", he said.

European leaders should realise that the competitiveness of the continent as a whole would be damaged by an approach that focused on taking a tough line on Britain in Brexit talks, Fox said.

Oddly enough, since Britain is a country famous for its culinary shortcomings, much of the criticism has been couched in food-related terms. Her ministers have been taken to task for trying "to have their cake and eat it" as they seek the best possible trade deal for Britain.

But just before Hammond spoke, Brussels offered a free trade agreement that falls well short of Hammond's plans, saying Britain's banks and insurers would get the same treatment as rivals from other non-EU countries and only get limited access.

May denied cherry picking or trying to have her cake and eat it.

'Like other free trade agreements, it (the trade agreement) should address services, ' Tusk said. She also argued that since the rest of the bloc has a trade surplus with Britain of $110 billion a year, it is in the EU's interests to guarantee frictionless trade after Britain's departure. The second proposal is for a "highly streamlined customs arrangement, where [the United Kingdom and the EU] would jointly agree to implement a range of measures to minimise frictions to trade, together with specific provisions for Northern Ireland".

Banks have said transition would provide critical breathing space to adjust to Brexit and give more time for trade negotiations.


"Because of Brexit, we will be drifting apart, ' the chairman of European Union leaders Donald Tusk told a news conference, delivering a message that contrasted sharply with May's call for future trade to be 'frictionless as possible".

During a recent trip to Britain, France's finance minister, Bruno Le Maire stated that financial institutions would have to depend on a legal mechanism called equivalence.

"We can deal multilaterally with the overproduction of steel, but this is the wrong way to go about it". It's simply not in our interest, ' he said.

The Brexiteers are undaunted, though.

Mike Cherry, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said discussions over future trade deals were "clearly important" but the priority for firms now was getting clarity about the immediate future with the European Union after Brexit day.

Le Maire believes Britain's proposal for a system of mutual recognition post Brexit will not work.

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