Brussels is not breaking a sweat over U.K. trade negotiations with the U.S. | Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP via Getty Images
EU ambassador to London shrugs off Brexit deal threat from US
‘I see no link between what they’re doing and what we are doing,’ said João Vale de Almeida.
Updated 5/8/20, 9:16 AM CET
LONDON — Brussels is not breaking a sweat over U.K. trade negotiations with the U.S.
At least not according to the new EU ambassador to London. “I don’t feel any pressure,” João Vale de Almeida told POLITICO in an interview. “I wish good luck to our British friends.”
Britain has cultivated the narrative that opening negotiations with Washington will create leverage against the EU when it comes to post-Brexit trade. Stories ahead of the formal opening of U.S. talks on Tuesday included claims that a bare bones deal with America could squeeze better terms out of Brussels. But Vale de Almeida, who is closely involved with the Brexit trade talks, is not so sure.
“I think it’s important that big trading partners like the U.K. and U.S. try to deepen free trade,” he said over a video call from Brussels. “But I feel no pressure. I see no link between what they’re doing and what we are doing.”
He admitted however that Brussels will be watching the developments with a close eye “in order to protect our interests.”
The fledgling EU Embassy in London was not the only part of Brexit to be infected by the pandemic.