Sterling hits two-week low as traders focus on Brexit talks

21 December, 2017, 01:30 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Britain will not get a special Brexit deal for the City of London senior EU negotiator Stefaan De Rynck warned at Chatham House today

Brexit Secretary David Davis is on record as saying he wants Britain's free trade deal to be "Canada plus plus" and include financial services.

The EU has insisted that London-based banks will lose their free access to the EU if Britain sticks to its plan for new controls on migration, which is popular with British voters but would breach a condition for membership of the single market.

The European Commission has approved guidelines covering Brussels' position on the transition, which have been drawn up by Michel Barnier.

On top of that, Barnier said that "all new rules adopted by the European Union during the transition will be applied to the United Kingdom", with the EU's highest court continuing to have authority.

"From our point of view the logical end should be December 21, 2020", Barnier said at a press conference in Brussels as he presented the new Brexit negotiating guidelines produced by the commission, the EU's executive arm.

Once agreed, negotiations can then move on to future relations for the longer term, with Britain hoping to complete a trade deal as early as possible.

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Barnier was unveiling his new mandate just a few days after European Union leaders agreed last week that enough progress had been made on divorce issues - Britain's financial settlement, the rights of citizens hit by Brexit and the status of the Ireland-Northern Ireland border - to expand the negotiations for talks on future relations, including trade. Rulings of the European Court of Justice will continue to apply, the EU said.

In a tough speech, Mr Barnier said the transition must be for a "short and specific" period.

"The pressure we have seen against sterling today is largely reflecting remaining uncertainties around Brexit negotiations", said Alexandra Russell-Oliver, a strategist at Caxton FX.

Brussels meanwhile has repeatedly warned Britain that it can not expect to leave the EU's single market and customs union, and maintain all its benefits.

Mr Barnier has delivered a series of slapdowns to British politicians in recent days, saying there is "no way" that the European Union will allow them to build their own trade deal or will give the City of London a special status.

Mr Barnier warned that "logically speaking", when the United Kingdom leaves the European institutions in March 2019, it will no longer be covered by around 750 global agreements - including dozens of free trade deals - negotiated by the EU while it was a member.

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