Boris Johnson: "Good trade agreement is essential"
On 6 March minister-president Bourgeois received British Minister of Foreign Affairs Boris Johnson in Brussels.
The UK is expected to notify its withdrawal from the European Union under article 50 of the EU Treaty later this month. This will mean the start of negotiations between the British government and the European Union on the arrangements for the UK's withdrawal. These negotiations have to be concluded within two years. Only afterwards talks can start about the future relations between the United Kingdom, the European Union and the European countries. Nevertheless, the upcoming Brexit is already businesses in Flanders. The pound's low exchange rate is already making export to Britain more difficult.
Minister Johnson recognized that Flemish businesses export a lot to the UK. He emphasized that a good new trade agreement will in any case be necessary: " “I am sure that we are going to find a solution that is positive for both sides of the channel. What we want is an agreement that enables that. We have massive trade with Flemish companies. I think that I am right in saying that Flemish companies are one of our biggest export / import partners and we want an agreement that maximizes the benefits for both sides," said the British minister of foreign affairs.
Minister-president Bourgeois stressed that Brexit shouldn't have a negative impact on the outstanding bilateral cooperation between our knowledge centres in the field of higher education and research.