On Tuesday EU Trade Commissioner Malmstrom gave an interesting interview stating EU policy on the major trade issues around the world. The principal concerns were the EU/US relationship and the EU/China relationship.
She was also asked about the UK position. She said
“If the UK leaves fully the EU and becomes a third country, it will still be a European country, it will still be our friend, it will still be an ally and a very important trading partner, so obviously we will have to try to find as comprehensive a trade agreement as possible with that country. But obviously it will not be 100% seamless because they are leaving the common market. Obviously it is in our interest as well as the UK’s to have a trade agreement ”
I have always said we can just leave and that will work fine, but it would be better to have a Free Trade Agreement. I have always thought it much in the EU’s interest to have such an Agreement, but have pointed out they might want to damage themselves to damage us. It is important to know it is official EU policy to negotiate a Free Trade Agreement in good faith with the UK if we just leave. It is useful to know they want a comprehensive one, which is easy to do if both sides want it because we have tariff free trade at the moment. So why wont the UK government get on with it and table one? I am having another go at pressing the government to table an FTA, stop the Euro elections and leave.