Britain can’t negotiate on trade deals with third parties as long as it’s a member state of the European Union, the bloc’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini warned on Monday.
At a press conference after this year’s first Foreign Affairs Council, Mogherini was asked by a reporter whether she would do anything special to cope with an upcoming Eurosceptic U.S. administration.
“I think that the European Union will stick together. I am 100 percent convinced of this,” she said.
Stressing that Britain is still a member state seven months after the Brexit referendum, Mogherini said: “as long as a member state is a member state, there are no negotiations bilaterally on any trade agreement with third parties.”
“This is in the treaties and this is valid for all member states as long as they remain member states, until the very last day,” she added.
Foreign ministers of the 28-nation bloc gathered on Monday to discuss the developments in Syria and Middle East peace process, just days ahead of Donald Trump takes office as U.S President.
In an interview with British daily The Times, Donald Trump said he will offer Britain a quick and fair trade deal with U.S. within weeks after taking office to help make Brexit a “great thing”.
Trump also predicted in the interview that other countries would follow Britain’s lead in leaving the EU.
In response, The chief spokesperson of European Commission Magaritis Schinas on Monday said “we had read the interview with interest”, but he didn’t elaborate.
Pierre Moscovici, European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, however, on Monday slammed Trump’s comments as a fantasy.