Spain’s foreign minister has been praised for her explanation of why Brexit trade talks between Britain and the EU are failing.
Arancha González said trade deals are developed to establish interdependence between parties, and not independence, which she says is likely to be the key barrier to progress.
González’s comment comes after the UK and EU ruled out setting a new deadline after deciding to extend discussions beyond Sunday.
Appearing on Sky News, González said: “At the heart of this, whether it’s on fishing or whether it’s on the level playing field, it’s a very stark situation.
“I’ve done many trade agreements in my life and trade agreements are not about trying to assert one’s independence, they are made to manage our interdependence and this is what is at stake here.”
She added: “Let’s agree that this trade deal that we are building post-Brexit is not to assert people’s sovereignty – trade deals are not meant to do that. It’s pretty clear when you do a trade deal that you’re a sovereign nation.
“They’re made to manage interdependence. The UK and the European Union are interdependent; so, let’s build a deal that reflects the need to manage this interdependence.”
Twitter users praised the foreign minister.
@cambrensis posted: “A brief but comprehensive analysis of where this Tory govt has gone wrong.”
Agreed. A brief but comprehensive analysis of where this Tory Govt has gone wrong.
Listen and weep https://t.co/oWsyQX9qh7
— Cambrensis #FBPE 👍 #PR #Annibyniaeth (@cambrensis) December 13, 2020
Molly Scott Cato, a former Greens MEP for the South West, pointed out: “Trade deals are a mechanism to manage interdependence not to assert independence. British government has misunderstood this from the start.”
David Henig, a director of the think tank European Centre For International Political Economy, posted: “Absolutely true, and actually a better description than the misleading ‘free trade agreement’. Someone once suggested ‘managed trade agreement’ as more accurate.”
"Trade deals are not made to assert independence, they are to manage interdependence" – absolutely true, and actually a better description than the misleading 'free trade agreement'. Someone once suggested 'managed trade agreement' as more accurate. https://t.co/Z9rqSQIZ8A
— David Henig (@DavidHenigUK) December 13, 2020
Hugo Rifkind quipped: “So much of what we have become comes down to the fact that British people this smart simply don’t go into politics.”
Journalist Ian Fraser added: “It’s strange how many European leaders sound more intelligent in their second language than British cabinet ministers do in their first.”