January 31, 2020 / 10:33 AM / 19 days ago

EU: the more UK distances from bloc rules, the less market access

European Council President Charles Michel, EU Parliament President David Sassoli and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen give a speech on the future of Europe in Brussels, Belgium January 31, 2020. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The more Britain diverges from EU rules and regulations after Brexit, the less access to the bloc’s single market it will have, European Council President Charles Michel said on Friday.

“The more the UK will diverge from the EU standards, the less the access to the single market they will have,” Michel said.

Michel, European Parliament President David Sassoli and the head of the bloc’s executive arm, Ursula von der Leyen of the European Commission, also said the EU would now focus on fighting climate change and advancing digitalization.

“We want to have the best possible relationship with the United Kingdom but it will never replicate the benefits of membership,” von der Leyen told reporters in a joint statement.

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska, Marine Strauss; Editing by John Chalmers

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