EU chief says bloc will give UK ‘large access to the single market’ – but there is a catch

EXPRESS.CO.UK

The Brexit trade deal becomes the next hurdle that Boris Johnson needs to overcome. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has insisted that the UK can strike a trade deal with the European Union by the end of 2020. Former Prime Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni argued the EU is ready to allow the UK to have very large access to the single market in a new trade deal.

He added however that this depends on the work of the UK Government and compliance with the EU’s demand.

He explained the EU had its rules that it needed to consider and noted the bloc would demand a level playing field for trade.

During an interview on CNBC, Mr Gentiloni said: “I would say that most of the results depend on the decisions of the UK Government.

“If the UK Government wants to have very large access to the Single Market, to have very good relations the EU is ready to do this.

“But it is not up to us to decide.

“We have our rules and we expect a level playing field from this agreement.

“If there is availability and acceptance from the UK Government I think we will reach an agreement.

 

 

“It is not easy in 11 months but I think it is still possible.

“We need an agreement on a level playing field between us.”

Boris Johnson has recently insisted he will not push back on the December 2020 deadline for a post- Brexit deal with the EU.

However, the bloc has warned these red lines feel like “2017 all over again” as the EU argues the time period is very small.

An EU source told The Sun: “They’re making a textbook repeat of the same mistakes.

“If a managed no deal is the strategy, to try and put pressure on EU unity and force a series of sectoral agreements, once again it won’t work.”

It comes as Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the chances of striking a free trade agreement between the UK and EU by Mr Johnson’s deadline are “50-50 because a year is not very long”.

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