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May warned there must be an 'Ireland first' approach to Brexit talks

10 March 2018

On Tuesday the French economy minister, told BBC Radio 4: "Financial services can not be in a free trade agreement... we have to rely on equivalence regimes, that is the best solution for financial services".

Brexit is due to happen in March 2019.

We have written to both Michel Barnier and Donald Tusk to outline the issues and to suggest that any Brexit trade deal should look at ways to overcome the need for such inspections.

The documents released today are said to be deliberately vague to try and force Theresa May to reveal more of what she wants from leaving the EU.

Speaking alongside Irish PM Leo Varadkar, Tusk said talks would be a case of "Ireland first".

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Mr Tusk claimed Britain had so far failed to come up with "specific and realistic" alternative proposals to keep the Irish border open without reverting to the EU's "backstop" option which has provoked such anger. "In fact, this will be the first FTA in history that loosens economic ties, instead of strengthening them", the former Polish premier added. Big business echoed his words and even some Brexit campaigners praised the prime minister for her pragmatism.

May, 61, has long kept her cards close to her chest, trying to avoid provoking those in Britain who want a clean break with the European Union, or others who fear the world's sixth-largest economy will suffer if barriers are raised against a major trading partner.

The industry is still pressing for concessions that would minimize the pain from Brexit.

"It's strategically important to have the holding company inside the European Union", a company spokeswoman said. Like other free trade agreements, it should address services.

"We must hope that they will be as positive and pragmatic as Theresa May".

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"The EU is looking for practical solutions to avoiding a hard border, in full respect of the constitutional status" of Northern Ireland, he tweeted. This relationship could be based on four pillars: trade and economic relations, foreign policy, internal security and thematic cooperation, for example on cross-border research and innovation projects.

He also pointed out that the depth and experience of the City could not be mapped, let alone replicated, so it would be in everyone's interests to include financial services in the deal.

He said on Wednesday that Dublin must have certainty that if a better option is not available, Brussels' proposal to establish a "common regulatory area" between the island of Ireland and the 26 other European Union states will apply.

"Yes, there will be ups and downs in the months ahead..."

Luxembourg's PM, Xavier Bettel, insisted that despite the meagre deal on offer there is no attempt to "punish" Britain.

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Police officials also added that an investigation has been launched in this regard and the miscreant will soon be caught. According to ANI , a statue of Mahatma Gandhi was damaged by unknown persons in Thaliparamba area of Kannur , Kerala.

Global trade secretary Liam Fox has urged Brexit negotiators to "keep the temperature down" as talks enter the critical future relationship phase.

May warned there must be an 'Ireland first' approach to Brexit talks