Bruno Maçães, who was his country’s EU minister between July 2013 and November 2015, rubbished claims the effect of Britain quitting the European Union would be “negligible” for remaining members of the bloc.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, the business strategist spoke of “complex value chains” impacting on EU members after urging the UK to remind the bloc of the “dangers” presented to them.
He said: “These negotiations are always very technical and didactic and you have to embrace that so I think the UK has to explain to the other side the dangers and risks that the EU and the EU27 are not seeing at the moment – and I think they are there for their side.
Bruno Maçães called on the UK to remind the EU of "significant risks" to the bloc post-Brexit
When I talk to people in Brussels, what I hear is ‘the risks for us are negligible, the risks for the UK are very high’ – I think the first thing the UK side has to do is to explain that this is not correct
“When I talk to people in Brussels, what I hear is ‘the risks for us are negligible, the risks for the UK are very high’ – I think the first thing the UK side has to do is to explain that this is not correct and in fact there are significant risks for the EU as well.
“So you have to embrace this technical, didactic process – it’s not going to arm wrestling and that would not be good for the UK.”
Mr Maçães spoke of risks presented to trade flows between Britain and the European Union and said the potential for disrupting “value chains” was “very high”.
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He said: “If you compare the trade flows they are of course much much larger by several orders of magnitude from the UK to the EU, it’s close to about 50 per cent of UK exports.
“And then from each member state to the UK it’s about four, five, with the exception of Ireland, which is very low, but the volume is not so important these days because there are very complex value chains, production chains.
“And even though a particular factory or industry in the EU might be using a very limited amount of British input, it may turn out to be crucial input, it may be a component that may not be obtained anywhere else.”
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