European Union pressing United Kingdom to speed up Brexit negotiations

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Goldman Sachs and UBS said last week they were starting to transfer some bankers to Frankfurt in preparation for Britain's exit from the EU.

The UK will come to regret its decision to leave the European Union, the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has said.

He said it "translates faithfully" the agreement reached between Theresa May and the European Union in December.

"The four freedoms, including the freedom of movement, are indivisible", he told MEPs in Strasbourg as they debated their vision of the post-Brexit future.

May and EU27 leaders is set to hold a new round Brexit negotiation on March 22 and 23, with hopes for the consolidation of a transition deal immediately following March 29, 2019, when Britain will become a third country.

The UK will leave the single market and things are going to be different in the future, but the UK will not take part in a regulatory race to the bottom at the expense of workers' rights or the environment.

He said it was "especially important" that Britain comes up with concrete proposals for the border between British-ruled Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which is staying in the EU.

Mr Juncker also caused fury among British MEPs as he used a speech at the European Parliament to claim that the Irish border was a "European issue".

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Juncker said that without a plan to avoid a hard border, the "backstop" of in effect keeping Northern Ireland in the customs union and single market had to remain.

His European Parliament motion calls for an "association agreement" to deal with the future UK-EU relationship.

Companies in Britain and the European Union face an extra 58 billion pounds ($80 billion) in annual costs if there is a no-deal Brexit, with Britain's vast financial sector set to be the worst-hit industry, according to a report on Monday.

The British government says this was settled in negotiations a year ago and that the European Union have changed the agreement.

Referring to the dispute with the U.S. over steel and aluminium tariffs, he said the United Kingdom could sign its own trade deal with the USA "in 48 hours" if it was not a member of the EU. In the free trade agreement we can offer trade in goods, with the aim of covering all sectors, subject to zero tariffs and no quantitative restrictions.

The study by consultants Oliver Wyman said country level differences are pronounced, singling out the agri-food industry in the Republic of Ireland and the auto and manufacturing sector in Germany as particularly exposed.

'We are monitoring the situation as the negotiations unfold and look forward to receiving additional clarity at the March council, ' said Honda's European government affairs manager Patrick Keating.