British finance minister Philip Hammond said on Saturday it is likely Britain will want to negotiate a bespoke arrangement for a future trade deal with the European Union, rather than copying existing arrangements like the Canada-EU deal, Reuters reports.
The European Union agreed on Friday to move Brexit talks onto trade and a transition pact but some leaders cautioned that the final year of divorce negotiations before Britain’s exit could be fraught with peril.
Summit chair Donald Tusk said the world’s biggest trading bloc would begin “exploratory contacts” with Britain on what London wants in a future trade relationship, as well as starting discussion on the immediate post-Brexit transition.
Speaking in Beijing, Hammond it was probably not helpful to think in terms of off-the-shelf models like the Canada-EU deal.
“We have a level of trade and commercial integration with the EU 27 which is unlike the situation of any trade partner that the EU has ever done a trade deal with before,” he told reporters.
“And therefore it is likely that we will want to negotiate specific arrangements, bespoke arrangements,” Hammond added.
“So I expect that we will develop something that is neither the Canada model nor an EEA model, but something which draws on the strength of our existing relationship.”