May Criticized For Attempts to Tie Trade to Security

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May got a first taste of the high-wire act involved in European Union negotiations after her opening offer for a Brexit deal ran into immediate opposition from EU leaders who challenged her attempt to tie a free-trade deal to security cooperation.

In an early sign that two years of divorce negotiations will be as contentious and complicated as feared, Guy Verhofstadt — the European Parliament’s point person on Brexit matters and someone who will have a say on the final outcome — complained that “security is far too important to start to bargain it against an economic agreement.”

The slap came hours after May formally served notice that the U.K. will leave the EU in March 2019 and immediately pitched for an unprecedented trade deal that would enable banks to maintain easy access to the regional economy. Her government will begin the parliamentary process of taking back control over thousands of EU laws on Thursday.

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Craig Erlam

Craig Erlam

Senior Currency Analyst at OANDA
Based in London, England, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a Market Analyst. With more than five years' experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while conducting macroeconomic commentary. He has been published by The Financial Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Telegraph, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Sky News, Bloomberg, CNBC and BBC. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and he is recognized as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.