14:07 GMT +315 October 2019
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    Flags are arranged at the EU headquarters as Britain and the EU launch Brexit talks in Brussels, June 19, 2017

    'Lopsided Deal': Non-EU Members Distressed Over Special UK Brexit Arrangement

    © REUTERS / Francois Lenoir
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    Brussels is under growing international pressure not to grant Britain special treatment less than a week after Prime Minister Theresa May clinched a deal to move Brexit talks forward.

    Some countries outside the European Union believe that Friday’s agreement between May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is more favorable to the UK than other non-EU nations.

    “We have been approached by a number of [non-member] countries expressing concerns and making it clear that it would constitute a major problem for them if suddenly the UK were to get better terms than they get,” the Guardian wrote, quoting a UN source close to the negotiations.

    He added that once Britain exits the EU single market and customs union in March 2019 it will no longer enjoy the trade relationship it now has with the bloc and will not receive special treatment either.

    “If we were to give the UK a very lopsided deal, then the other partners with whom we have been engaging and who entered into balanced agreements would come back and question those agreements,” the official noted.

    Theresa May and her government are seeking a deal that would ensure unfettered trade with the European Union and free access to the common market.

    On Friday, Britain and the European Union reached an agreement on Brexit divorce terms after six months of tense talks, paving the way for negotiations to advance on a trade deal.

    Mr. Juncker said the Commission was now recommending that EU leaders agree to advance the talks when they meet next week.

    The agreement on divorce terms includes a Brexit financial settlement, the future rights of EU citizens in the UK and of EU nationals in Britain, and avoiding the restoration of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

    READ MORE: 'Breakthrough We Needed': UK, EU Brexit Talks Move Forward

    If EU leaders, due to meet in Brussels on Thursday and Friday, give the go-ahead, talks on a trade agreement and a post-Brexit transitional period could begin within weeks.


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