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PM Sipilä: "Hopefully no more" EU exit deals to come

Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä represented Finland at an EU summit that approved an agreement for the UK to exit the 27-member bloc.

Juha Sipilä
Prime Minister Juha Sipilä in Brussels on Sunday. Image: Piroschka Van De Wouw / AFP

EU leaders meeting on Sunday greenlighted an agreement on the UK's withdrawal from the 27-member bloc after less than an hour of deliberation.

Representing Finland at the Brussels huddle, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä said that the UK’s departure from the EU is sad, but noted that it is now technically possible given EU leaders’ approval of the latest Brexit deal.

"When you read the political declaration, you feel that 'this can’t be true'. This is definitely a lose-lose situation. It is an undesirable situation but it is now possible for the breakup to happen in an organised fashion," Sipilä said on Sunday.

Regional politicians will next come together for the EU and other countries to redefine the relationship with the UK. Sipilä said that for Finland, it is most important to ensure the creation of a sound free trade agreement.

In addition, some countries have specific issues that still need to be settled, such as Spain’s Gibraltar question, while Finland is concerned about post-Brexit aviation and ensuring that Finland will be able to use the UK as a hub to access some areas outside of Europe.

The premier described the negotiation process so far as difficult and speculated that it would not get any easier.

"Hopefully there’ll be no more of these," Sipilä concluded.

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