Britain to lose two EU agencies

Helen Cahill
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The agencies could be moved to Frankfurt, Milan or Paris (Source: Getty)

Britain is to be stripped of two of its European agencies, according to reports.

The European banking and medicine agencies are currently located in London, but according to the Observer, EU diplomats agreed in a meeting on Tuesday that they should be moved.

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The two agencies, the European Banking Authority and the European Medicines Agency, employ around 1,000 people. However, in the next two weeks, talks will begin to decide where they will be moved.

The European council president, Donald Tusk, will set out the criteria for which member state will host the agencies. Cities including Frankfurt, Milan, Amsterdam and Paris are thought to be possible new locations for the two bodies.

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It is expected that the new sites will be decided by June.

The news comes after the EU denied Prime Minister Theresa May's calls for early trade talks, saying that it needs to decide the UK's "Brexit bill" - which could come to as much as €60bn - before discussing the UK's future relationship with the bloc.

Ruling out parallel talks, Tusk said:

Once and only once we have achieved sufficient progress on the withdrawal, can we discuss the framework for our future relationship.

Starting parallel talks will not happen.

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