Trade

Irish PM: EU will have strong hand in Brexit trade talks

The EU will be in a better bargaining position than the U.K. in the post-Brexit trade talks, Irish leader Leo Varadkar said today.

“The reality of the situation is that the European Union is a union of 27 member states. The U.K. is only one country,” he said in an interview with the BBC, adding that the blocs larger population and market gave it a “strong hand.”

“So if these were two teams up against each other playing football, who do you think has the stronger team?” he asked.

Varadkar — who is meeting Brexit chief negotiator Michel Barnier in Dublin today — also warned of undue optimism among British politicians regarding trade talks with the EU, insisting that “the final deal, the new relationship will have to be comprehensive.”

The discussion in the U.K. “sounds a bit like cake and eat it,” he said. “You know, lets have a trade deal in the areas where we have an advantage but not in the areas where we dont — and thats not fair.”

“That isnt something that will fly in Europe,” he added.

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