World, Economy, Europe

EU-UK trade deal could have 'unprecedented scope'

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says trade deal would include zero tariffs, zero quotas

Ahmet Gürhan Kartal   | 08.01.2020
EU-UK trade deal could have 'unprecedented scope' EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell Fontelles (R) and European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen (L) hold a joint press conference in Brussels, Belgium on January 8, 2020.


The EU is willing to offer a trade deal to the U.K., which would include “zero tariffs, zero quotas, and zero dumping,” and it can go beyond trade and be “unprecedented in scope”, European Commission president said Wednesday. 

Speaking at an event held in the London School of Economics (LSE), Ursula von der Leyen underlined that the EU is willing to work day and night to achieve this goal.

She said the U.K. and the EU will continue to share the same values after Brexit and now is the time to look forward, time “for the best and oldest friends to build a new future together”.

Von der Leyen said the first stage of the Brexit negotiations was engulfed by uncertainties but now there will be more clarity and she expected that the withdrawal agreement will be ratified by the EU and the U.K. soon.

She said the EU wants to go as far as it can in building the new relationship with the EU but it will not be as close as before, underlining that the lack of free movement of people would affect free movement of capital and services.

Von der Leyen said it would not be possible to deal with all aspects of a trade deal by the end of the year.

“Therefore we will have to prioritize,” she said.

Ursula von der Leyen is expected to meet British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London Wednesday afternoon to talk about the framework of next stages in Brexit talks.

The Withdrawal Agreement Bill is expected to become law after completing all stages in the parliament and receiving Royal assent in coming weeks.

The U.K. will leave the EU on Jan. 31, 2020 and a transition period, which will end in the end of the year, will begin.

The U.K. decided to leave the bloc in a 2016 referendum.

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