BDI: German industry needs clarity on Brexit by next week

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A similar position was also made by European Commission (EC) President Jean-Claude Juncker, who asked British Prime Minister Theresa May to provide further details on how the country views its future relations with Brussels.

"As long as the United Kingdom doesn't present such a solution, it is very hard to imagine substantive progress in Brexit negotiations", EU Council President Donald Tusk said last week.

The suggestion that the Irish border is a European issue was heckled by one MEP, who shouted: "It is a British issue".

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.

European Union leaders have been pressing British Prime Minister Theresa May to clarify what she wants before they agree their position on the future economic partnership at a summit later this month.

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The bloc has repeatedly dismissed such an idea as "cherry-picking" and European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier once again rejected on Tuesday.

Addressing the European Parliament, Juncker was cheered by Eurosceptic MEPs as he noted the UK's departure was due on March 29 2019.

Overall, he added, "it is time to face up to the hard facts".

And as for May's plan for the U.K.to get observer status in some key EU industry regulators: "You can't want to participate in our agencies without a legal commitment of applying the rules of the Union and jurisdiction of the Court of Justice".

Britain has said it no longer wants to be part of the EU's seamless and tariff-free internal market and the customs union.

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The European Parliament's Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt said talks he held with May and her Brexit minister David Davis last week had left him confident London would "see the advantages of such an approach".

The former UKIP and Brexit leader, who has been a Member of the European Parliament for 19 years, said the bloc under its current leadership was based on the principles of "power without accountability".

"There was this Mansion House speech by Ms May, but it was mainly repeating the red lines that we know already", he said, adding that it was time to move beyond "slogans" and "sound bites".

Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary-General of the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance said the attack was "horrendous".

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