The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator wants a deal between Britain and Brussels by October 2018.
Michel Barnier, a former French foreign minister and ex-European Commissioner also said Tuesday the UK could not cherry pick parts of the single market it likes.
“Being a member of EU comes with rights and benefits. Third countries can never have the same rights and benefits since they are not subject to the same obligations.”
“The single market and its four freedoms are indivisible. Cherry picking is not an option.”
Barnier wants the post-Brexit deal wrapped before the next European election in 2019.
“The agreement itself should be reached in October 2018 to allow time, 5 or 6 months, Council, European parliament and British parliament to ratify,” he told reporters in Brussels.
“As long as we do not know what the intentions and the demands are, what the United Kingdom is prepared to ask for and accept for this future partnership; it is difficult to talk about a transitional period. A transitional period means that it facilitates the way, it prepares the way for the future relationship “
Barnier has spent the past months talking to European capitals as the European Commission tries to form a common position before the negotiations with the United Kingdom.
His remarks come as the UK’s supreme court consider whether parliament should have a say in triggering Article 50 – the EU’s exit clause.
Lawyers for the British government argue it is a matter for the executive, but the businesswoman who brought the lawsuit says MPs need to have a role as well.