February 27, 2018 / 2:21 PM / 2 years ago

EU's Barnier firmly rules out British 'cherry-picking' on Brexit

European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier attends an EU's General Affairs Council in Brussels, Belgium, February 27, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier firmly ruled out on Tuesday Britain “cherry-picking” the aspects of the EU it liked when it leaves the bloc.

European Council President Donald Tusk on Friday dismissed as “pure illusion” the ideas floated by Britain so far on what sort of future relationship it wanted with the European Union.

Asked if he agreed with Tusk, notably regarding British ideas for a three-pronged deal in which Britain would stick to the bloc’s rules after Brexit in some areas, diverge moderately in others and go its own way for the rest, Barnier replied: “yes”.

“We can’t possible imagine a situation in which we would accept cherry-picking. We are responsible for guaranteeing the integrity of the single market,” he told a news conference after a meeting of EU ministers to discuss Brexit.

“The UK knows what the rules are that underpin that integrity because they’ve been helping us put them together for the last 40 years.”

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop, Jan Strupczewski, Gabriela Baczynska

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