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European Union chief calls on May to give more clarity on Brexit

European Union chief calls on May to give more clarity on Brexit

Flanked by European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier, Mr Juncker told the session in Strasbourg there was "increasing urgency" to negotiate the UK's orderly withdrawal from the EU.

German companies are still preparing for a range of outcomes to the negotiations between Britain and the European Union, including the scenario of a hard Brexit in which no agreement was reached, Lang said, adding that next week's European Union summit would be crucial.

Both Britain and the European Union have vowed to avoid the return of customs checks to the border and an interim deal in December left some flexibility on the issue, but an European Union text putting the agreement into law has sparked a fresh row with London.

President of the European Commission Juncker delivers a speech during the traditional St.Matthew's Day banquet (Matthiae-Mahlzeit) in the City Hall in Hamburg Thomson Reuters STRASBOURG (Reuters) - Speeches made about the future relationship between Britain and the European Union needed to be translated into treaties and agreements as soon as possible, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Tuesday.

In the EU's draft withdrawal agreement, published in February, the three options for avoiding a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic were: a comprehensive trade deal; a bespoke, most likely technological solution; or "full regulatory alignment" between the two territories. If you chose to jettison, leave behind, the common agreements and rules then you have to accept that things can not remain what they are ...

This prompted an angry response from UKIP MEP David Coburn, who retoted that it was a "British issue".

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The EU two weeks ago suggested Northern Ireland should remain a member of the bloc's customs union and keep parts of the single market to prevent a return to a hard border with the rest of Ireland - unless the United Kingdom can come up with an acceptable alternative.

He has put forward a motion to the European Parliament for an "association agreement" to deal with the future UK-EU relationship.

The bloc has repeatedly dismissed such an idea as "cherry-picking" and European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier once again rejected on Tuesday.

European Parliament's Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt also called for more details from the Prime Minister.

He said: "There was this Mansion House speech by Mrs May, but it was mainly repeating the red lines that we know already".

Discussions around the financial services sector post-Brexit are expected to be held during the European Council meeting on 22-23 March.