European Union citizens, British expats rally for Brexit rights

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European Union citizens, British expats rally for Brexit rights

Michel Barnier, EU's chief negotiator, has emphasised the need to be flexible while also warning that the "clock is ticking" if an agreement is to be reached by the time the United Kingdom is scheduled to leave at the end of March 2019. It isn't the future of Europe.

"If a foreign, state-owned company wants to buy a strategic port, or part of our energy infrastructure... this must be done transparently, with scrutiny and debate", Juncker said.

"We have been slowly but surely gathering momentum", said Juncker in his speech, while playing down the issue of Brexit - only specifically mentioning it an hour into his address.

While pointedly demanding that European Union governments respect European Union law and court judgements - a barb aimed mainly at ex-communist states in the east like Poland and Hungary - Juncker stressed that the poorer east must not be treated as second class.

In his annual state of the EU address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Juncker reiterated his expectation that there will not be any EU enlargement during his term in office, which ends in 2019.

"We should make it clear that we are willing to continue to contribute to the European Union budget as we cross the bridge - in other words, between March 2019 and the end of 2020".

The Italian national said there was a danger "we will be deprived of the right to live in the place we call home".

Calling for the EU to embrace reforms and new trade deals, it's clear the EU president remains shaken by 2016, but will work hard to create a stronger EU for the future.

He also hailed progress that had been made in the migrants crisis; over the a year ago numbers of people coming into Europe through the eastern channel through Turkey and Greece had reduced by 97%, while in August numbers coming through Italy - whom he singled out for special praise for their "perseverance and generosity" - had gone done by 81% from the same month in 2016. It was plain for all to see that our union was not in a good state.

Juncker wants to boost trade deals and finalize pending ones by the end of 2019, saying that countries around the world were "knocking at our door" for new agreements.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Henkel said the UK's decision to leave the Brussels bloc would be just as bad for the European Union as Britain.

Juncker urged European Union governments to give his commission, the EU's executive arm, the authority to begin free-trade negotiations with Australia and New Zealand.

"I am very pleased that Mrs May has accepted the invitation of European Parliament to visit the European Parliament", the former Belgian prime minister told journalists, adding that he does not know when May plans to visit.

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