Britain wants to agree an EU free-trade deal: Sunak

Britain wants to agree an EU free-trade deal, says UK's Rishi Sunak

With the Brexit transition period ending in about 5 weeks, Sunak says that lack of a trade deal will not affect the economy as much as Covid-19

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak. Credit: Reuters Photo

Britain wants to strike a free-trade deal with the European Union, but the short-term impact of not doing so will be overshadowed by the Covid-19 pandemic, British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak told the BBC's Andrew Marr programme on Sunday.

Asked what the effect of not have a free-trade deal in place after the transition period ends on December 31, Sunak said: "It's very difficult to be precise about the near-term effects.

"But I'd agree with what the prime minister has said, in the short term specifically and most immediately, it would be preferable to have a deal because it would ease things in the short term.

"But the most important impact on our economy next year is not going to be from that, it's because of coronavirus."