politics

U.K. Should Have ‘Canada Plus Plus Plus’ Brexit Deal, Italy Says

Updated on
  • Economic development minister urges Commission to keep lead
  • Minister Carlo Calenda speaks with Bloomberg Television
Britain should be granted “Canada plus plus plus,” Calenda says.

Britain should be granted the “Canada plus plus plus” trade deal that Brexit Secretary David Davis has called for, Italian Economic Development Minister Carlo Calenda said in an interview.

Calenda, a politically independent figure in the center-left government of Premier Paolo Gentiloni, told Bloomberg Television at his Rome ministry: “I think Canada plus plus plus will be the minimum that we need to achieve.” The European Union’s free-trade accord with Canada is the bloc’s most ambitious commercial deal to date.

Calenda urged the European Commission to keep the lead to hold the EU’s 27 remaining nations together, saying “the Commission has to be the most important character in this case.” He said the bloc should find a way “to keep on cooperating” with the U.K. after Brexit on trade strategy in dealings with outsiders, including countries which are not liberal democracies and work “with different values.”

Davis said last month that he wanted “Canada plus plus plus,” explaining this would probably start with “the best of Canada, the best of Japan and the best of South Korea and then add to that the bits that are missing, which is services.”

Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, has specifically ruled out the agreement as described by Davis. “There is not a single trade agreement that is open to financial services,” Barnier told the Guardian newspaper on Dec. 18. “It doesn’t exist.”

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