The government on Thursday adopted its positions on the mandate for launching negotiations on future relations between the European Union and the United Kingdon.
The mandate allows negotiations with the United Kingdom to start. Foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu stressed that Estonia's positions were based on the existing positions of the Government of Estonia.
"In the future relations between the European Union and the United Kingdom, we are looking for a cooperation that is as close, intense and ambitious as possible. In doing so, it is important to keep in mind the balance between rights and obligations, and creating equal conditions," Reinsalu said.
"It is in the interests of both the United Kingdom as well as the European Union to conclude an extensive free trade agreement that would cover services as well as digital trade, but also ensure equal conditions for an open and fair competition," Reinsalu said. "Our economic partnership should entail transport agreements and energy cooperation. Also, short-term visa-free travel should encourage the movement of people from the education, youth and academic fields."
The negotiations also cover the inclusion of the United Kingdom in the foreign policy, security and defence cooperation of the European Union. "The security partnership would include opportunities for mutual law enforcement and legal cooperation, including in the fight against money laundering," Reinsalu added. "In terms of foreign and security policy, we plan to have consultations and dialogues on various topics, such as sanctions policy, and including the United Kingdom in the operations and missions of the European Union."
The European Union plans to adopt the mandate for the negotiations of the future relationship between the EU and the UK on 25 February 2020. Adopting the mandate enables to launch negotiations with the United Kingdom.
Editor: Helen Wright