Brexit: UK 'may need a big row with EU' says Hoey
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Once the UK has completed its pursuit to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Marco Longhi, trade envoy for Brazil, suggested Britain could well target a vast trade deal with Mercosur – the South American trade bloc. Mr Longhi, who was appointed as trade envoy in August, told Express.co.uk enhanced trade with Brazil is the ideal “bridge” into agreeing a deal with the South American bloc. He said: “It will be huge. Brazil is the bridge.
“And Brazil, even as it stands now, is the number one trading partner for the United Kingdom in South America but there is plenty more to be done, particularly around access to markets, there are lots of barriers to access.
“But where there’s a will there’s a way.
“And now this is going to be part of what I’m going to be working on, which is to see wherever possible to look at enhanced trading plans between the UK and Brazil, and obviously, wherever possible to work towards a deal with Mercosur as and when that time might be right for that because then that gives access to most South American countries as well.”
Mercosur is made up of six South American states: Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela and Bolivia.
The bloc is also ranked as the 5th-largest economy in the world and accounted for $4.6trillion (£3.3trillion) in 2019.
Any Brexit deal with the bloc could open up a large market for the UK in industries such as pharmaceuticals and technology.
Mr Longhi added: “We always speak about the EU in negative terms, there were positive things about being part of the EU, but it just became a bigger and bigger weight around our neck.
“We’re now free to do what we want to do, I think we’re in a much better place.”
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While the UK and Argentina have suffered a chequered history, Mr Longhi refuted any fears that may impact Britain’s future cooperation with the continent.
Mr Longhi concluded: “We have a common history with Argentina that goes way beyond the Falklands but of course, it’s a consideration.
“And it’s one that I know that certainly the United Kingdom, and I’d like to think Argentina as well would want to approach in a grown up way.
“The United Kingdom’s position is that we would always want to maintain sovereignty of the islands.
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“This is certainly something that I’m sure will be a priority for the United Kingdom.
“But clearly we see Argentina as a friend, and we want to maintain it as such.
“If it becomes a difficulty in terms of Mercosur in the future, then obviously, that will be very regrettable.
“But I’d like to think that it won’t be the case.”
Last year, the Brazilian government expressed its desire to sign a Mercosur-UK trade deal.
Foreign Trade Secretary Marcos Troyjo said the country will be interested in pushing for a broad agreement with the UK now in a statement last year.
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