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Michel Barnier: Trade talks with EU will be just as tough as last three years

MICHEL BARNIER has warned trade talks after Britain leaves the EU could be as tough as the withdrawal negotiations have been over the past three years.

Speaking at the Web Summit in Lisbon, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator warned Europe would insist on no tariffs, quotas or ‘dumping’ of subsidised exports.

‘There will be more economic competition between the EU and the UK, and that is normal, but the EU will not tolerate unfair advantage,’ he said.

Britain plans to leave the bloc by January 31 and end a transitional trade period by December 2020, giving just 11 months to strike a trade deal when such talks often take half a decade.

Mr Barnier (pictured) said the transition period may have to be extended. But No.10 has denied this and has ruled out giving MPs a say on an extension if the Conservatives win the general election.

Meanwhile, academics have warned border checks may be needed on food between England, Scotland and Wales after the devolved governments pledged to maintain EU standards.