Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveney has accused the United Kingdom of “narrow-minded thinking” and “perverse nationalism”, saying that the country is trying to get a trade deal with Washington alone ahead of the EU when the countries should work for a joint agreement.
“The idea that Britain can get there first is narrow-minded thinking, frankly. It’s a perverse nationalism when actually Britain and the EU should work together as partners,” he said.
“Enough division and competition globally rather than creating more locally,” the foreign minister said in an interview with The Times.
Coveney elaborated on BBC Radio 4 that he was asked about a transatlantic trade deal and that he was saying he doesn’t think “it makes any sense for some in the UK to see this as a race to see who can get a trade deal with the US first”.
“We should be looking at a transatlantic trade deal that involves the EU, the UK, the US and Canada and others if they want to be involved,” he said, adding that all these countries are running the economies that are based on “very similar rules and structures”.
The UK has been pursuing trade negotiations with the US, Japan, Australia, other countries, in an attempt to compensate for its departure from the European Union on 31 January 2020.
The UK government so far has managed to strike post-Brexit trade deals with Japan, Canada, Vietnam and Singapore, among other countries, while negotiations with the United States and New Zealand still continue.
It has also formally applied to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership, an international trade agreement between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam, that evolved from the similar Trans-Pacific Partnership, which failed after Donald Trump pulled out from the accord.