On Thursday April 15, Ambassador João Vale de Almeida participated in an event with the Brussels-based American Chamber of Commerce to the EU. Among the many issues discussed was the impact of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on trade and cross-border supply chains.
The Ambassador said: “There is a clear difference between being an EU Member State and being a non-Member State. Some business models will have to change structurally and adapt to the new situation. But there are things which will not change in EU-UK relations: we remain friends, allies and neighbours. Our economies will remain interlinked and interdependent, although perhaps at a lower level compared to when the UK was part of the EU”.
The event was moderated by the CEO of AmCham EU, Susan Danger, and was attended by representatives from leading US companies operating in the EU.
Three months on from the end of the transition period, the Ambassador discussed its economic effects on businesses on both sides of the Channel. “It is too early to draw conclusions on the effects of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on trade. However, British firms operating in different fields are concerned by the impact of the UK’s decision to leave the single market and the customs union. Few of the stakeholders I have spoken to expressed a desire to diverge from the EU’s rules”.
He added: “Businesses can play an important role in strengthening the levels of trust with our British partners, which so far have not been as strong as we would have liked. I hope that British authorities will move away from the disputes of the past and embrace a new mindset to make the most of our new relationship”.