David Davis hits out at European Union for "unwise" transition threat

Freedom of speech

Britain and the European Union began formal talks on the transition on Tuesday but the week ended with the bloc's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, warning of "substantial" disagreements. They say they may have to move some of their units out of the country if the post-Brexit environment remains uncertain.

Mr Barnier's comments came after the EU's publication of a position paper on the proposed transition deal provoked fury from Brexit Secretary David Davis, who branded the document "discourteous" and "unwise".

- Britain's wish to continue participating in the development of new policies in the area of justice and home affairs during the transition.

Sterling dived after Michel Barnier said a deal on "transition is not a given".

"I am sure the PM will be reiterating that when she meets the companies today and also the commitment to securing the implementation period as soon as possible to give them a period of time to adjust", he added.

"It is perfectly normal to provide for effective implementation mechanism to settle disputes", he said.

"This is a democratic and patriotic effort to recover our future and we welcome support for our efforts from many quarters", he said.

But the sensitive Treasury document that forecasted the economic effect of three Brexit models - leaked to Buzzfeed last month - said Britain's fishing industry will be better off under every possibility.

The Opposition Labour party's shadow Brexit minister Kier Starmer termed Barnier's intervention as a "wake up call" for the British prime minister. The chief negotiator said the "specific solution" on Ireland promised by the United Kingdom, or full regulatory alignment in Ireland could prevent such controls.

"We focus on solutions to avoid hard border. any solution must be precise, clear and unambiguous", Barnier said.

Even with the Government's preferred outcome of a free trade deal with the European Union, the region would still see an 11% drop in growth.

"It is our responsibility to include the third option in the text of the withdrawal agreement, to guarantee that there will be no hard border, whatever the circumstances".

Mr Barnier sealed the state of mutual incomprehension, telling reporters in Brussels that he had "problems understanding the UK's position" on the transition period.

Mrs May visited Japan in August previous year aiming to push forward with plans for a Britain-Japan free trade agreement.

Japanese government figures say some 879 Japanese companies employ 142,000 staff in Britain.

As Prime Minister Theresa May struggles to find consensus between feuding Tory factions over Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn is said to be planning his own "very different" deal, secretly negotiated with senior European Union diplomats.