European Union digs in over banks' post-Brexit access, rejecting United Kingdom bid

TOP NEWS: UK Average Earnings Rise 2.8%, Beating Expectations

The transition period will run from Brexit day on March 29, 2019 to December 31, 2020.

Mr Barnier was speaking after a meeting of European affairs ministers in Brussels which gave unanimous backing to the deal on transition, to some 70 per cent of a Withdrawal Agreement, and as well as proposed EU guidelines for the next round of talks.

Unresolved issues, in particular the seemingly intractable problem of the Irish border, could still derail a deal.

Apart from the key outstanding issue - how to avoid a border on the island of Ireland after Brexit - Barnier said other elements that were still not agreed related to data protection, geographical indications of various goods or the automatic recognition of each others' court rulings.

The addition to the draft guidelines, obtained by Bloomberg, makes clear that United Kingdom institutions would only have access to European Union markets if United Kingdom rules are deemed equivalent by the EU-a unilateral approval that can be withdrawn at short notice.

A draft text of guidelines for negotiating future ties between the two - seen Tuesday by The Associated Press - warns starkly of the impact that May's decision to leave Europe's single market and customs union will have on any future trade agreement.

The two sides will start talks on the future trading relationship next month, once European Union leaders endorse the negotiating guidelines at Friday's summit.

Winter Storm Watch issued for parts of region
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However, there are still some sticking points - the question of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland has not been resolved. He said the two sides had agreed to set up a joint committee to resolve any disputes during that transition.

Davis added: "We must seize the moment and carry on the momentum of the last few weeks".

Mr Barnier said there was now a clear engagement from Britain, confirmed by prime minister Theresa May's letter to European Council president Donald Tusk, that an operational provision for a backstop would be made in the Withdrawal Agreement.

Davis talked up the future of EU-British trade relations because they would start from similar rules, standards and tariffs, even though no pact can start until after 2020.

Meanwhile, a group representing European carmakers urged the Brexit negotiators to urgently address issues affecting the auto industry and to prevent "potentially disastrous implications" for its supply chain.

European Union officials and diplomats said some countries had further questions for Tusk, including Spain, which was looking for assurances over Gibraltar. He said: "There is nothing new there".

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