Brussels’ global influence dealt major blow after Brexit ‘Without the UK, EU is worse off’

2 min


Brussels’ global influence dealt major blow after Brexit ‘Without the UK, EU is worse off’

European capitals are struggling to replace the pragmatism of their former British colleagues at the negotiating table, according to Anthony Gardner, a former US ambassador to the EU between 2014-2017. The American said Brexit has increased tensions between Brussels and Washington in recent years. He said: “One can certainly have different views about Brexit, and the British have their own views and the British have their owns views about how this will transpire in the country.

“But I think the US was absolutely right in concluding that it would complicate our lives and diplomatic outreach with the with the EU for that reason.

“The EU without the UK risk becoming less transatlantic, less pro-free trade and less pro-free competition.”

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Mr Gardner insisted President Donald Trump’s support for Brexit and the demise of the EU has impacted Washington’s relationship with Brussels.

He said: “The idea that the Trump administration has had that Brexit is great, there should be more Brexit, and the EU should be undermined – all of which are things that absolutely it sought to do is fundamentally misguided.

“One of the sort arguments why the Obama administration thought that Brexit was a bad thing for the US, where I think we had a legitimate reason to speak out, is the UK was playing a critical role within the 28 and was contributing so much.

“Without the UK, the EU is worse off. There is no doubt about that.”

In the years since Brexit and President Trump’s assent to the White House, relations between Washington and Brussels have become strained.

Leaders on both sides of the Atlantic have exchanged threats and slapped stinging trade tariffs on one another.

Brussels is hoping to revive negotiations with the US on ending their long-running trade disputes.

Phil Hogan, the EU’s trade commissioner, has told his US counterpart Robert Lighthizer that a pact could end a decade of arguments.

MUST READ: Remainer’s Brexit trade fears shut down as minister highlights flaws

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In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the EU also wants to discuss steps to smooth transatlantic trade in medical devices and vaccines.

Alongside the post-Brexit Brexit negotiations with Brussels, the Government is also seeking to secure a trade pact with Washington

Downing Street hopes the agreement will kickstart the country’s recovery from the global pandemic.

Anthony Gardner’s Stars with Stripes: The Essential Partnership between the European Union and the United States is available now.

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