MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Leaving the European Union and losing access to the single market encourages Britain to develop trade with Russia and other non-EU states, Roger Munnings, the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce (RBCC) chairman, told Sputnik on Wednesday.
"There are at least two years to go before we leave the European Union, but I think the way Britain is looking at it is that it gives us a chance to be completely open to all countries in the world, including Russia. We’ll need to look for other trading partners rather than being confined to the European Union by virtue of the free trade arrangement, so we will be very keen to do trade with Russia," Munnings said on the sidelines of the RBCC RussiaTALK Investment Forum in Moscow.
He added that although there was sanctions regime in place against Moscow, at the same time the British government encourages trade with Russia.voted on referendum to leave the European Union. On October 2, UK Prime Minister Theresa May said that the country would trigger Article 50 of the EU Lisbon Treaty by the end of March 2017 to start the official procedures to cease its EU membership.
A number of EU leaders have already stated that the United Kingdom will lose its access to the single market unless it keeps freedom of movement rules. May, meanwhile, suggested at the Conservative party conference in early October that the country’s exit from the European Union would be a "hard" rather than "soft" Brexit, meaning that control over immigration would be prioritized over the access to the European single market.