December 15, 2016 / 10:45 AM / 9 months ago

UK envoy comments on EU trade deal were those of others: minister

EU and British flags are adjusted before the EU summit in Brussels, Belgium, June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s envoy to the European Union was expressing the views of others when he said a post-Brexit trade deal with the bloc could take 10 years to reach, a junior minister in Britain’s trade department said on Thursday.

Earlier the BBC reported that Ivan Rogers, Britain’s ambassador to the EU, had told Prime Minister Theresa May’s government that a post-Brexit trade deal with the bloc might take 10 years to finalize and could still fail.

Junior trade minister Mark Garnier said the ambassador had been relaying the opinions of “interlocutors”.

“This does not necessarily define how long it will take to create a trade deal,” he told parliament. “It is very, very difficult to be able to establish exactly how long any trade deal will take.”

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Stephen Addison

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