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Britain wants to agree an EU free-trade deal: finance minister Sunak


FILE PHOTO: Puzzle with printed EU and UK flags
FILE PHOTO: Puzzle with printed EU and UK flags is seen in this illustration taken November 13, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

November 22, 2020

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain wants to strike a free-trade deal with the European Union, but the short-term impact of not doing so will be overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic, British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak told the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme on Sunday.

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Asked what the effect of not have a free-trade deal in place after the transition period ends on Dec. 31, Sunak said: “It’s very difficult to be precise about the near-term effects.

“But I’d agree with what the prime minister has said, in the short term specifically and most immediately, it would be preferable to have a deal because it would ease things in the short term.

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“But the most important impact on our economy next year is not going to be from that, it’s because of coronavirus.”

(Reporting by Willaim Schomberg and Paul Sandle; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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