January 23, 2020 / 9:51 AM / 25 days ago

EU can do a trade deal if UK keeps level playing field, Gentiloni says

FILE PHOTO: European Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni attends an European Union finance ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium January 21, 2020. REUTERS/Johanna Geron

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - The European Union can do a trade deal with post-Brexit Britain if London ensures a level playing field, European Commissioner for Economic Affairs Paolo Gentiloni said on Thursday.

If the United Kingdom “wants to have good relations with the single market, we are ready,” Gentiloni said. “If there is availability from the UK government, I think we will have a deal.”

“We can’t have zero tariffs and dumping together. We need a level playing field,” he said.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to strike a trade deal with the EU by the end of 2020, though Brussels has cautioned that doing a comprehensive deal in such a short time could be challenging.

“We have to see how the trade deal is finalised and there is a risk that it’s not finalised,” said Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing, though he added that London would remain a key financial centre.

“The clarity that has been given over the past 6 weeks is in the right direction The UK will be for us a material and very important location,” Sewing said.

“London will also be one of the key capital markets, so... we will have a significant location over there. We prepared for the worst, so that we could do everything out of Frankfurt, but we believe there will be an agreement and that London will be an important capital market.”

Reporting by Alessandra Galloni, writing by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Kate Holton

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