For the first time since Brexit, Portugal’s economy minister Pedro Siza Vieira has opened up about the economic damage it has caused Portugal.
In an interview with The Times – and with this year signalling the 650th anniversary of the treaty which forged the first diplomatic bond between the two countries – Mr Siza Vieira did not hold back: “Some exports have been very adversely affected,” he said: “Brexit has had an adverse impact, of course . . . For Portugal, Brexit was not good news”.
“The UK is one of Portugal’s main trading partners, one of the main investment partners”, he explained. “We are an Atlantic country not a continental country. It is a basic part of our identity and foreign policy to have a close relationship with the UK and US. So this [Brexit] is complicated for us. This is not something we were happy with.”
According to The Times, “diplomatic efforts are underway to rebuild the relationship and strike new trade deals, reinvoking the spirit of the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance, the oldest diplomatic alliance in the world still in force”, but they could be mired in post-Brexit red-tape, and the fact that Portugal now is first and foremost a Member State of Europe, even though Britain historically is its oldest ally.
For the full interview carried by The Times (click here).