George Katrougalos: Greece wants UK to remain a strategic partner after Brexit
The United Kingdom is a traditional friend of Greece and Athens wants to preserve these relations in the future, Alternate Foreign Minister George Katrougalos said on Thursday following a meeting with the UK Minister of State for Exiting the European Union Lord Martin Callanan.
In joint statements after the meeting, Katrougalos noted that the both countries wanted to remain strategic partners as in the past.
He also welcomed the White Book proposals presented by Britain for exiting the EU, saying it was “exceptionally useful so that we can negotiate together as 27 states, in relation to our common goal, which is to find a sustainable solution for Brexit”.
Both sides wanted to avoid a “no deal” Brexit at all costs, he added, noting that Greece will present a position in favour of the UK remaining a strategic partner of the EU at the EU General Affairs Council on Friday.
While Greece did not want a “punitive” approach to the Brexit talks, he noted, “Clearly a country that is leaving cannot have the same or greater rights than the countries in the EU.”
Callanan, on his part, noted that “UK and Greece enjoy excellent bilateral relationships and we cooperate together on a whole range of areas,” and said he was delighted to be able to outline the White Paper proposals to Katrougalos, “which we think offer an excellent basis for future cooperation between the EU and the UK.”
“We have proposed a UK-EU free trade area, we have proposed frictionless trade on the basis of a common rule book, on some areas of agri-food and on industrial goods and we hope that ministers when we discuss that will be able to give it a positive reception and we look forward to providing further details if these are needed,” he added.