France: Barnier tells UK not to 'kid' yourself on financial services deal

The EU's lead negotiator with the UK Michel Barnier warned London not to «kid» itself over a financial services deal with Brussels. He made the comments during a plenary session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday. «I would like to take this opportunity to make it clear to certain people in the United Kingdom that they should not kid themselves about this: there will not be... Еще general, open-ended, ongoing equivalence in financial services,» he said. «We will keep control of these tools and we will retain a free hand to take our decisions,» he added. President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen meanwhile encouraged the UK to be «a global champion of free trade,» echoing recent comments made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. «In a moment when the rules-based trade system is so challenged, we need our partners to join us in making the system fairer and stronger,» she stated. However Von der Leyen went on to pour cold water on the idea that an 'Australian model' exists for a trading relationship with the EU. Her apparently mocking statement follows comments made by Johnson in which he said the UK could prosper with an arrangement similar to the one Australia has with the EU. «The European Union does not have a trade agreement with Australia. We are currently trading on WTO terms. And if this is the British choice, we are fine with that — without any question,» she stated. «But in fact, we are just in the moment where we are agreeing with Australia that we must end this situation, and we work on a trade deal with them. Of course, the UK can decide to settle for less. But I personally believe that we should be way more ambitious,» she stated. The European Parliament was holding a plenary session to discuss the EU's future relations with the UK in the wake of Brexit.

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