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Time to turn Brexit speeches into treaties, Juncker tells May

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Critics have seized on EU proposals to maintain access to British fishing waters More

European Union chief Jean-Claude Juncker warned that Britain will "regret" Brexit today as he drew battle lines for trade negotiations.

Jean-Claude Juncker was speaking during a debate on Brexit in the European Parliament this morning ahead of a vote on future UK EU relations tomorrow.

The European Union would make the point before EU leaders meet at a summit on March 22-23 that the EU was a long-standing and trusted security partner of the United States and thus not a threat to national security and that the Pentagon only needed 3 percent of US annual steel production to serve its needs.

EU Council President Donald Tusk warned last week that the Irish border issue must be solved before negotiations can move on to other issues.

The draft EU text published last month says Northern Ireland must stay in a customs union with the rest of the bloc if no better way is found to avoid a hard Irish border - which Britain rejects.

"As the clock counts down with one year to go, it is now time to translate speeches into treaties, to turn commitments into agreements, broad suggestions and wishes on the future relationship into specific workable solutions", Juncker told the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

'If you decide to jettison, leave behind, the common agreements and rules, then you have to accept that things can not remain as they are'.

But he was heckled by one MEP, who shouted: "It is a British issue".

He said he did not want European Union citizens to "fall victim to Brexit" as he stressed the importance of securing their rights.

Ending his own speech by slapping the table in front of him, Juncker said: "We need to focus on our European future".

He also defended an European Union proposal for the bloc to continue to regulate trade in the British province of Northern Ireland after Brexit, should no other ways emerge to avoid a hard border between that territory and the country of Ireland.

"It is time to face up to the hard facts".

Mr Farage also used his time in parliament to complain that the United Kingdom was unable to complete a trade deal with the U.S. while it remains in the transition period.

The UK will "regret" its decision to leave the European Union, Brussels' top official has warned.

The European Parliament's Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt also called for more details from the Prime Minister. "Which means everything that we say and that we do on both sides will require the utmost clarity to pass the test".

He said: "There was this Mansion House speech by Mrs May, but it was mainly repeating the red lines that we know already".

Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage claimed the European Commission was seeking to "bully" the United Kingdom and suggested Theresa May should back a no deal Brexit.

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