Britain will 'live to regret' Brexit, says Juncker

Britain will 'live to regret' Brexit, says Juncker

Britain will 'live to regret' Brexit, says Juncker

It's "rather surprising" that May thinks the European Union would accept "convergence as sought by the United Kingdom and at the same time open up the possibility of divergence" when it gives Britain a comparative advantage, Barnier said.

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

Lang also pointed out that negative effects from the approach of Brexit were already apparent, with Britain dropping from second- to fifth-most-important trade partner for Germany past year.

Meanwhile, the German companies are preparing for any possible exit from the London-Brussels talks, including the so-called Hard Brexit, where no agreement is reached.

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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.

That frustration was reinforced by EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who also told EU legislators that "there is increasing urgency to negotiate this orderly withdrawal".

And as for May's plan for the get observer status in some key EU industry regulators: "You can't want to participate in our agencies without a legal commitment of applying the rules of the Union and jurisdiction of the Court of Justice". But British foreign minister Boris Johnson said last week that a hard Brexit and trade with the European Union on WTO terms "doesn't hold terrors for me".

Mr Lang did not say what measures these contingency plans would include.

The study cited recent data which showed that foreign direct investment (FDI) into Britain declined by a dramatic annual 90 percent in 2017 while Britain also fell by two ranks to fifth in the list of Germany's most important trading partners during the same period. "Now there is the chance to reduce uncertainty for companies on both sides of the channel", Mr Lang said.

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