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EU President says Brexit threatens North, not EU

12 September, 2018, 19:41 | Author: Rafael Roberts
  • UK cannot be in 'parts of single market' - Juncker

Meanwhile, Juncker said that solidarity with Ireland over tough Brexit talks will remain a priority for the EU.

He said Europe will "find a solution to avoid hard border in Ireland and defend all elements of the Good Friday Agreement".

Juncker appeared to reject the PM's proposals to adopt EU customs rules for goods in his State of the Union address, telling her Britain can not stay "only in the parts you choose".

"We respect the British decision to leave our Union, even though we continue to regret it deeply", he said in his speech to the EU parliament in Strasbourg.

"This is why we want to find solutions that prevent a hard border in Northern Ireland", he said, adding the European Union will stand in solidarity with Ireland.

"But we also ask the British government to understand that someone who leaves the Union can not be in the same privileged position as a member state".

But he paved the way for chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier to secure a deal with the British government, ensuring that the EU Commission will not "stand in the way".

He said he agreed with some of Theresa May's Chequers plan, but then undermined a key part of it, warning the United Kingdom can not pick and choose to be in parts of the single market.

He also says the United Kingdom can't expect to remain in parts of the single market when they leave.

Juncker renewed calls for states to push ahead in developing an European Union defense capability independent of the US -led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance and to embrace Africa through investment and a sweeping new free trade area - part of a strategy to curb the flow of poor African migrants which has set European Union governments at each other's throats and fueled a sharp rise in anti-EU nationalism.

In a sign that Brussels remains open to a post-Brexit trade deal with the UK outside the single market, Mr Juncker added that "the United Kingdom will never be an ordinary third country for us".

"It is Brexit that risks making the border more visible in Northern Ireland".

The proposal will need backing from the countries that make up the EU as well as the European Parliament and internet platforms will be required to develop new tools to police content.

"With every new ship we can't be talking about ad-hoc solutions for the people on board", Juncker said.

Twitter (TWTR) and YouTube owner Google (GOOGL) had already agreed to work with the European Union on a voluntary basis to tackle the problem.


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