The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

Barnier claims leav­ing will cost UK more

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Brexit is a “lose-lose” situation for both sides but the cost to the UK will be “sub­stan­tially higher”, Euro­pean Union chief ne­go­tia­tor Michel Barnier said.

The se­nior Brussels of­fi­cial warned that skills short­ages could hit the NHS and dis­missed the terms of Theresa May’s plans for a com­pre­hen­sive deal on fi­nan­cial ser­vices.

But he in­sisted there was “no in­ten­tion of dis­crim­i­nat­ing against the UK” and Lon­don would re­main a “global fi­nan­cial cen­tre” af­ter leav­ing the bloc.

In a speech in Sofia he said: “Out­side of the cus­toms union and the sin­gle mar­ket, there can be no fric­tion­less trade.

“Busi­nesses will be faced with non-tar­iff bar­ri­ers and bor­der checks that do not ex­ist to­day.”

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