'No deal' Brexit could cost UK, EU companies 58 billion pounds

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and EU Council president Donald Tusk hold a press conference at Government Buildings in Dublin. Credit Niall Carson  PA Wire

The EU is seeking to be exempted from planned USA import duties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, but says Washington has not made clear how the exemption process works.

If the European Union (EU) and Britain are to reach an understanding on their future relationship, London should provide more clarity on its view about it, Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, told the European Parliament here Tuesday.

"As the clock comes down with one year to go it is now time to translate speeches into treaties, to turn commitments into agreements, broad suggestions and wishes on the future relationship into specific workable solutions".

The EU's insistence that the only way to retain a frictionless border in Ulster is for the bloc to effectively annex the Province and erect barriers between it and the rest of the United Kingdom appears to be pure politics, as a report commissioned by the European Parliament suggests outstanding customs issues could, in fact, be resolved through the use of technology as early as March 2019.

"After Brexit there is a big discontinuity in all the trade and services, but we still have a large market and it's supposed to be an interesting opportunity for all the financial institutions", Katainen said.

"If you decide to jettison, leave behind, the common agreements and rules, then you have to accept that things can not remain as they are".

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He also defended an European Union proposal for the bloc to continue to regulate trade in the British province of Northern Ireland after Brexit, should no other ways emerge to avoid a hard border between that territory and the country of Ireland.

Mr Juncker was heckled from the UKIP benches whose MEPs said it is not a European issue, but a British issue. He added that the idea that a deal would be in the EU's "mutual interest" isn't true.

"We must recognise the democratic decision taken by Britain to leave the European Union in 2016, just as we must recognise the democratic decision made on the island of Ireland in 1998 with all its consequences", said the former Polish prime minister.

Interim UKIP leader Gerard Batten added that the European Commission "wants unconditional surrender" from the UK negotiators.

But Conservative MEP David Campbell Bannerman urged colleagues not to be so negative about Brexit.

The UK will leave the single market and things are going to be different in the future, but the UK will not take part in a regulatory race to the bottom at the expense of workers' rights or the environment. "We can only achieve this if all sides work together".

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