BIARRITZ, FRANCE: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday said he would be “reluctant” to see the cancellation of a key trade deal between the EU and South American nations, saying there was already enough trouble for global trade.
French President Emmanuel Macron has backed the blocking of the Mercosur Free Trade Agreement with the EU after lashing out at the policies of Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro on climate change.
“I think I’d be reluctant to do anything, at this very difficult time for global free trade, to cancel another trade deal,” Johnson said at the G7 summit in Biarritz where the fires in the Amazon basin in Brazil are a central issue.
Britain is set to head out of the EU on October 31 and is keen to improve its trade elsewhere, including with Latin American nations.
Johnson said he was “horrified” by the fires and added Britain was ready to help in any way “to extinguish the fires and to protect habitat and biodiversity”.
But Johnson appeared to question the motives of the likes of both Macron and Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar who has also said the trade deal should be blocked if Brazil does not change its stance.
“I think we need to look at the commercial thinking that may underlie that decision,” said Johnson.