(Adds Dijsselbloem interview with Times of Malta)
AMSTERDAM Dec 1 Britain's new position in the
European Union's market cannot be cheaper, or better than that
of countries that are full members of the trading bloc, a
spokesman for Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said on
"The message is the same: There can be no cherry picking and
the new situation for the United Kingdom cannot be better or
cheaper for them than it is for the countries within the EU,"
said Michel Reijns.
Dijsselbloem himself told the Times of Malta, in an
interview published on Thursday, that Britain would end up
outside the EU single market after Brexit, even though it should
be able to secure deals to continue trading in it -- at a price.
Dijsselbloem, who also chairs the Eurogroup of euro zone
finance ministers, was quoted as saying that British Foreign
Secretary Boris Johnson was wrong to tell Britons that
"everything is going to be hunky dory and that it will be a
"I am absolutely sure that this is not going to be the
outcome," he said. "The outcome will be that the UK is outside
the internal market.
"Of course, we can design new agreements to allow them to
enter the internal market and to allow trade to continue. We
have to do that. But it will not be as easy or as cheap as it is
"The economic reality will be that, if you are not fully
part of an internal market, then you will have extra costs to do
business," Dijsselbloem said. "There will be hindrances, there
will be tariffs in some cases."
Dijsselbloem, who regularly describes himself and his
free-trading nation as natural allies of Britain in European
affairs, said the EU would have greater leverage in negotiations
with London as a much smaller proportion of the bloc's trade was
at stake in the Brexit talks than was the case for Britain.
(Reporting By Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Kevin Liffey)