Jeremy Corbyn to meet Michel Barnier next week to talk Brexit

How to survive turbulent post-election times Five ways for manufacturers to get ahead

Mr Barnier added, "There is no reasonable justification for a "no deal" scenario".

Addressing an EU business forum in Brussels on Thursday, Barnier said London's "red lines" for a future trade relationship mean the United Kingdom is definitely leaving the single market and the customs union.

This week a City delegation is expected in Brussels to press for a free-trade deal on financial services following Brexit, led by former Conservative City minister Mark Hoban.

He pointed out that under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, there would be customs duties of "almost 10 percent on vehicle imports, an average of 19 percent for alcoholic beverages, and an average of 12 percent on lamb and fish", adding that the European Union is the UK's biggest export market for these products.

He went on, "In reality the "no deal" scenario would aggravate the lose/lose situation, which is a necessary outcome of Brexit. And the United Kingdom would have more to lose than its partners", Barnier insisted.

In a speech aimed at supporters of "soft" Brexit, such as the chancellor Philip Hammond and the Labour Party, Mr Barnier said that he was uncertain whether the realities of leaving the European Union had been fully understood across the Channel.

He countered that "a fair deal is far better than no deal" and pointed out Brexit talks were not a classic negotiation, where "no deal" meant reversion to the status quo.




"I have heard some people in the United Kingdom argue that one can leave the single market and keep all of its benefits - that is not possible".

He told an European Union committee in Brussels that only membership of both of these elements of the European Union permitted the current "frictionless" trading arrangements.

Stressing the tight timetable, which means the United Kingdom is outside the European Union in only 20 months' time, he urged the British to reach agreement on the divorce issues, a financial settlement, European Union citizens' rights and the Irish border.

"Number two: There can be no sector-by-sector participation in the Single Market".

He continued "only the combination of a Single Market and a Customs Union allows good to move around freely.by choosing to leave the EU you are moving yourself deliberately outside that border and those rules". There is no punishment for Brexit and of course no spirit of revenge. But Brexit has a cost, also for business in the EU27. The three issues listed above relate to the first stage of negotiations.

Barnier said that everyone should stay "calm" and without "any aggressiveness or arrogance".

Mr Barnier said time was tight to reach a deal by the end of March 2019 deadline under Article 50, remarking that "time flies". "And I say this at the moment when the United Kingdom has made a decision to leave this community and become a third country".

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