EU Ambassador warns post-Brexit relationship with UK ‘will always be a complex one’

Andrew Neil launches rant on 'sorry saga' of Brexit

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Wednesday marked five years since Britons voted to leave the European Union in a referendum which split the country. In a statement on Tuesday night, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told MPs: “The decision to leave the EU may now be part of our history.

“But our clear mission is to utilise the freedoms it brings to shape a better future for our people.”

Speaking to BBC Newsnight on Wednesday, EU Ambassador to the UK Joao Vale de Almeida explained that he is hopeful about future relations between the two nations.

Presenter Emily Maitlis asked: “Would you say Ambassador that five years on from Brexit we are where you thought we would be?”

Mr Vale de Almeida replied: “Well I don’t know exactly what I thought where we would be because I was serving as an Ambassador in New York.

“I was shocked by Brexit. I was sad by Brexit let’s be very clear.

“But once it’s done and it’s the democratic will we have to move on. And this relationship will always be a complex one.

“Why? Because we are neighbours. We lived together for almost half a century. We divorced.

“It’s always complicated to divorce, it’s very difficult to find a new balance.

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“We are still in the beginning of this new cycle so I’m hopeful. Let me leave this message of hope because we are destined to cooperate because we share values and we share interests as we’ve seen in the last summit in Cornwall.”

EU leaders along with G7 members met up in the south of England earlier this month for a summit.

However, the gathering was overshadowed by tensions between the EU and UK over the so called ‘sausage war’.

The disagreement came over the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol, a post-Brexit measure which prevents checks on trade across the Irish border.

At the time, Mr Johnson said he would do “whatever it takes” to protect the territorial integrity of the UK after talks with EU leaders about Northern Ireland.

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