EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in Malta

EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said that the UK’s exit will mean leaving some 700 international agreements behind, ones that were set out during the UK’s tenure as a member of the EU.

“I always said that there’s no added value to Brexit, on the contrary, it’s a step backwards.”

Mr Barnier was addressing business people, trade unionists, representatives of government entitites and agencies, and other stakeholders at the European Commission office in Malta.

A trade unionist suggested that for student qualifications to be safeguarded, the qualifications of students should be recognised by EU member states, even after the UK exits the EU. Mr Barnier also said that from the day the UK exits, it will form part of the Customs and Single Market for some 21 months or more under the same rights and obligations. He also said that the EU is waiting for the ratification package to be agreed to for the second phase of talks to start.

The EU chief Brexit negotiator also highlighted that if the UK is part of the Customs Union and Single Market, the problem of Ireland would be solved.

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