Flanders wary of Brexit deals with EU member states

BRUSSELS: Flanders is worried Britain may cut deals with bigger EU states after Brexit that would hurt the Belgian region’s exports to one of its biggest markets, the Flemish premier said after meeting business leaders on Wednesday.
“We have to make sure that there is a joint European approach, that there won’t be partial agreements with large member states,” Geert Bourgeois told reporters.
His comments reflect concerns in parts of Europe that the united front Britain’s EU partners have so far shown in preparing negotiations with London on its exit from the European Union may break down as nations and industries try to defend their own interests in maintaining trade with Britain.
EU leaders are to discuss their joint approach to the negotiations at a summit in Brussels on Thursday.
EU officials warn divergent goals among member states could make it hard to reach an EU consensus on any British deal.
Even within Belgium, there may be tensions between business interests keen for trade and a political establishment which is among the keenest in the EU on denying Britain favourable terms for fear that might undermine hopes for a more federal Europe. — Reuters

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