PARIS (Reuters) – European Union members must take a firm stance with Britain over the bloc’s free movement of labor rules during Brexit divorce talks, Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the EU’s executive body the European Commission, said on Friday.
Some British politicians have suggested the country will be able to negotiate a close trade relationship with the EU without having to allow unfettered movement of people into Britain when it leaves the EU.
“It should be obvious that if the United Kingdom wants to have free access to the (EU’s) internal market all the rules and all the liberties… need to be fully respected.”
“You can’t have one foot in and one foot out,” Juncker said during a speech in Paris. “On this point we need to be intransigent. I see the maneuvering.”
Juncker also said the EU was still open to more talks on stalled Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership trade deal discussions with the United States but “will not kneel down before the Americans.”
(Reporting by Jean-Baptiste Vey; Editing by Michel Rose)