Time to turn Brexit speeches into treaties, EU's Juncker says

The US has signalled it could exempt certain countries from planned steel and aluminium tariffs

Prime Minister Theresa May, who said on Monday it was "highly likely" that Russian Federation was behind the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, won support from some of Britain's main European allies and the European Union which denounced the attack as "shocking" and offered help to track down those responsible.

In a blunt response to May's speech earlier this month, in which she set out her post-Brexit vision, Barnier said the prime minister still didn't get that the European Union wouldn't accept her having the best parts of European Union membership if she didn't play by the bloc's rules.

Mr Juncker was addressing the European Parliament earlier today on potential plans for future EU and United Kingdom relations.

Theresa May has been accused of saying little more than empty words in Brexit negotiations - as European Union chiefs said Britain would live to regret leaving the EU.

Mr Juncker was cheered by Eurosceptic MEPs as he noted the UK's departure was due on March 29th, 2019.

"It's obvious that we need further clarity if we're going to reach an understanding on our future relationship", he said.

But he was heckled by one MEP who shouted "it is a British issue".

Mr. Juncker says both sides have agreed that there should be no hard border on the island of Ireland and that must be respected.

Any less comprehensive free-trade agreement in lieu of customs union membership would carry the risk of logistical bottlenecks and inevitably lead to an increase in the cost and bureaucratic burden associated with trade, he added.

"You can not be part of our agencies without the legal commitment to apply European Union law and the jurisdiction of the court of justice", Barnier said.

BDI director Joachim Lang urged London to seize the opportunity of an upcoming session by the European Council to present realistic proposals for a close future relationship between the bloc and the departing member.

"It's time to face up to the hard facts", he said. "That can not happen", the European Parliament's Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt told Euronews.

"As the clock counts down, with one year to go, it is now time to translate speeches into treaties, to turn commitments into agreements".

"Ms May, we did not vote for a transition period, we voted to leave this organisation, we voted to leave the customs union, we voted to leave the single market", he said.

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