A top German politician has indicated that the EU might be open to looking again at post-Brexit trading relations with the UK, telling politicians to “call us”.
German finance minister Christian Lindner told BBC News that the UK has a “standing invitation” on any future talks on reducing trade barriers or “obstacles in daily business life”.
“If you want to intensify your trade relationship with the EU – call us!”
He told the broadcaster: “In the daily life of German corporates, there are new obstacles since Brexit… I don’t think (the) United Kingdom is benefiting from Brexit.
“We really appreciate the United Kingdom and its values, its people… and I would really, really appreciate it if we can intensify (the trading relationship) again,” he said.
The comments come after Rishi Sunak’s deal with the EU on post-Brexit arrangements in Northern Ireland, the Windsor Framework, appeared to usher in better relations between Brussels and London.
The UK will also return to the European Union (EU)’s £85 billion Horizon research programme, in another sign of improved ties.
Both Labour and the Conservatives remained committed to keeping the UK out of the EU’s single market, but Sir Keir Starmer’s party has been clear that it wants a better trade deal with the bloc.
A Government spokesperson said: “The Trade and Co-operation Agreement is the world’s largest zero-tariff, zero-quota free trade deal.
“It secures the UK market access across key service sectors and opens new opportunities for UK businesses across the globe.
“Following the Windsor Framework, both the UK and EU have publicly committed to maximising the opportunities of the TCA even further.”