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Closing ranks: Barnier flew to Berlin ...

Germany and EU tell UK: No Brexit cherry-picking | DW |

Berlin and Brussels showed a united front on Wednesday delivering a single message to London: There will be no cherry-picking when it comes to the single market.

European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier came to the German capital for talks with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, after which they appeared before a handful of cameras and reporters to offer similar statements.

"In the end, it will come down to the fact that we will resist the so-called cherry-picking," said Maas, following familiar declarations of sorrow that Britain had chosen to part ways, and that Germany, like all the other 27 remaining EU member states, wanted a close relationship with the UK in future.

However, both men remained optimistic that an agreement could be reached - that there would be no "disorganized Brexit." Barnier said a deal had been reached on a majority of the issues, while Maas professed that the "last big hurdle" was the question of the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

"We are firmly convinced that the exit agreement must guarantee that Brexit must not lead to a hard border in Northern Ireland," said Maas. "It is important that this guarantee must be valid regardless of how the EU and Britain will shape its new relationship."

'Single market means single market'

Echoing British Prime Minister Theresa May's soundbite that "Brexit means Brexit," Barnier switched to English to deliver his own quip in retort: "single market means single market." This organization of trade within the EU, he said, remained "non-negotiable."

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Aug 29th, 2018 at 07:51:07 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Aug 29th, 2018 at 07:51:44 PM EST
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