French finance minister says UK to pay higher price for Brexit



French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire on Monday told the France Info broadcaster that the Brexit would cause greater damage to the United Kingdom (UK) rather than to other parties of the tense negotiations. 

“The big losers from Brexit will be the British,” Le Maire said, adding that the whole deal and negotiations process has been “political, economic and historical madness.”

The minister also noted that France-UK trade is worth some 33 billion euros (over $40 billion), and estimated the impact of Brexit at “just 0.1 point of our (French) national wealth.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Le Maire specified that it would be a considerable hit for the French economy, especially for certain sectors, which the government aims to support.

In particular, he said that Paris continues to insist on access to the UK waters for European fishermen, one of the main sticking points in the ongoing Brexit talks. 

He reiterated however that the loss from Brexit for the French economy would be incomparable to that for London.

Over the weekend, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen agreed to extend negotiations on a trade deal beyond the self-imposed deadline of Dec. 13.

 

 

 

 

 

However, the opposing sides remain in disagreement on such issues as governance, fishing rights, and the set of rules and procedures designed to prevent businesses from undercutting their rivals in another country. 

If London and Brussels find no common ground by Dec.  31, the UK will no longer be under the EU’s trade rules, with the World Trade Organisation’s rules coming into force for both sides in 2021, including customs tariffs and full border checks for UK goods flowing across the English Channel. (Sputnik/NAN)