João Vale de Almeida made his comments in an interview in which he looked on the UK’s future relationship with Europe as optimistic. He also suggested the UK would be a strong force in the high-level G7 talks which it is due to host later this year.
Speaking to the Telegraph and Chopper’s Politics podcast, Mr Vale de Almeida said: “We could be at the start of a new cycle, a new dawn in the EU-UK relations – the life after Brexit. That’s a great potential here. And I think we should invest in it.”
He added the UK should continue to “join efforts” with the five other European forces within the G7 in order to better influence the nine members in total.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently announced the UK would be hosting this year’s G7 meeting in Falmouth, Cornwall.
He said: “Two-hundred years ago Cornwall’s tin and copper mines were at the heart of the UK’s industrial revolution and this summer Cornwall will again be the nucleus of great global change and advancement.”
The G7 has a rotating presidency between its members. The last time the UK hosted it was in 2013, when it chose a resort in Northern Ireland as the location.
Its members are the EU, the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the UK. This year will also see Australia, India, and South Korea invited.
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He added: “We can surprise people and I’m sure we will surprise Mr Farage.”
Not all analysts are as optimistic, however. Timothy Garton Ash, Professor of European Studies at Oxford University, has claimed the UK will “be in a state of permanent negotiation with the EU”.
He wrote in the Guardian: “The Johnson government said the choice came down to being “Australia or Canada”, but in fact we will be more like Switzerland, which endures endless rounds of nitpicky negotiations with the EU, punctuated by fits of retribution from Brussels.”
The UK is currently seeking to establish a memorandum of understanding with the EU regarding financial services in particular, which were largely not covered by the Government’s Brexit deal last month.