‘We’ll have VERY big losses’ Flemish leader warns EU DON’T push Britain into a HARD Brexit

THE PREMIER of Flanders is hoping he can help influence Brussels to come up with a favourable deal for Britain with the region standing to lose out in a “hard Brexit” scenario.

Geert Bourgeois, the Minister-President of the Belgian region of Flanders, has made the case to the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier as the region could lose 2.6 per cent of its GDP by 2030.The politician aired his concerns on the BBC’s Newsnight after meeting with Brexit Secretary David Davis, who is seeking to form new alliances with regional economies within the bloc.

Mr Bourgeois said: “I met twice [with] Barnier I brought him to Zeebrugge, 45 percent of the trade, of the export, from Zeebrugge is to the United Kingdom, so that’s why I do my best to influence all the people, the ambassadors of the surrounding countries, to work together.

Geert Bourgeois and Michel BarnierBBC•GETTY

Geert Bourgeois called for a

If we don’t find a good agreement and if there’s only the WTO rules then we will have very big losses

Geert Bourgeois

“There’s a lot of other countries also pleading for the soft Brexit.”The Flemish leader feared the UK leaving the EU to trade on World Trade Organisation [WTO] terms would “weaken” both the UK and Flanders.

He said: “I deplore this Brexit every day, I deplore it, it’s a bad thing, it’s bad for the EU, it weakens the United Kingdom, it weakens Flanders too.

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