Europe should give Britain a trade deal that closely replicates current EU-UK trading relations and not seek to punish the UK after Brexit by erecting trade barriers, the Icelandic foreign minister has told the Telegraph.
Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson said it was in the interests of both sides to have unfettered trade in Europe “as it was before” Brexit, and that European attempts to punish Britain would rebound badly on the 27 remaining member states.
“There will be no winners if we are going to have trade barriers. I would think that at the end of the day it will be obvious that is it is in everyone’s interests to have free trade in Europe, as it was before,” he said.
Speaking after a tour of Europe that included visits to Berlin, Brussels and then to London to see Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, Mr Thordarson urged Europe to take a pragmatic approach to the coming negotiations.
“What does erecting trade barriers mean?” he added, “It simply means that the politicians in the remaining 27 EU countries will have to explain to the people who could lose their jobs, that they are doing it because they are so ‘tough’ on the Brits.”