The Finnish Foreign Minister, Pekka Haavisto (Greens) said he believes that the importance of Africa and Latin America to the European Union is going to increase after Brexit because France and Spain are expected to have stronger roles in the EU.
He described the UK’s withdrawal from the EU as a “loss” but considered that Britons could become “players” on the international scene, as they could choose whether to align with the EU or the US.
In an interview with the Finnish Broadcasting Company, Haavisto described Britain’s exit as a “loss” and a “day of sorrow”.
“Our relationship will never be as close as it has been,” he said.
The minister also predicted that the EU’s security and foreign policy would change as a result of Brexit. He was referring to the sanctions against Russia, which might be undermined and lose some of their political weight since the country which played a big part in enforcing them is now gone.
Haavisto nevertheless ended the interview on a positive note. “There will always be common interests shared by the EU, the US and Britain, regardless of our differences on trade and freedom of movement,” he said. (Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)