German foreign minister says Brexit agreement could serve as model for relations with other countries

Sigmar Gabriel said the arrangement with the UK could form a template for Turkey and Ukraine

Joe Watts
Political Editor
Tuesday 26 December 2017 15:17
Comments
Mr Gabriel (above, with Angela Merkel) foresaw a ‘new, closer form of customs union’ with Turkey
Mr Gabriel (above, with Angela Merkel) foresaw a ‘new, closer form of customs union’ with Turkey

Germany’s foreign minister has said the UK’s Brexit agreement could serve as a model for the EU’s relations to other non-member countries in the future.

Sigmar Gabriel said if negotiators created a smart arrangement, it could be used as a map to forge more solid ties with Turkey and Ukraine.

The UK is still negotiating its withdrawal from, and future relationship with the EU, with Brexit set to occur on 29 March 2019.

Speaking to Germany’s Funke media group, Mr Gabriel said: “If we can reach a smart agreement with Great Britain that outlines its relations with Europe after Brexit, then that could serve as a model for other countries.”

In particular, he foresaw a “new, closer form of customs union” with Turkey, provided the situation in that country improved in relation to human rights under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Mr Gabriel said he did not see either country joining the EU any time soon, so alternative forms of closer cooperation were needed.

Under an existing specific customs union agreed in 1995, most goods may travel between the EU and Turkey without customs restrictions.

An association agreement currently exists between Ukraine and the EU which fosters political cooperation and trade.

The UK settled the first tranche of Brexit withdrawal issues in December, though many issues remain outstanding.

Brexit negotiations are now moving on to the terms of the UK’s transition out of the bloc between 2019 and 2021 and future trading arrangements.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in