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 Full text 
Wednesday, 17 June 2020 - Brussels Provisional edition

Preparation of the European Council meeting of 19 June 2020 - Recommendations on the negotiations for a new partnership with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (debate)

  Danuta Maria Hübner, Rapporteur for the opinion of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs. – Mr President, it is good to see my good friend Mr Barnier again. I must say that for the last few months we – together with you, I think, Mr Barnier – have been disappointed with the lack of progress in the negotiations. We have been disappointed with the UK’s continued and final refusal to extend the transition period to avoid the risk of a cliff edge in January and to ensure full and effective implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement on which future relations will be built, but we respect this choice.

Monday’s political momentum and the decision to intensify talks in July is good news in this context. So now there is a physical space, and I personally believe also political space to finalise the process, but I also want to emphasise that what is at stake is the quality of our future relationship. The benefits of a single market cannot be reconstructed within even the most generous free trade agreement. Equivalence and voluntary regulatory cooperation on financial services cannot be put into a free trade agreement.

Let me finish by saying that London will continue as an important global financial centre. But at the same time it would greatly benefit from growing financial and capital markets in the European Union. So the best choice for completing the negotiations is to follow the path of a long-term cooperative strategy.

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