Prime Minister Sipilä met EU's chief negotiator on Brexit, Michel Barnier

Government Communications Department 5.4.2018 15.29
Press release 172/2018
Prime Minister Sipilä met EU's chief negotiator on Brexit, Michel Barnier

EU’s Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier, who is representing the European Union in the Brexit negotiations, visited Prime Minister Juha Sipilä in Helsinki on Thursday 5 April. They discussed the current state of the Brexit negotiations, the EU’s future relationship with the United Kingdom, and Finland's own priorities.

“With progress finally made on the UK's withdrawal agreement, we agreed at the March European Council to move to a new phase of the Brexit negotiations, which means talks on the future EU-UK relationship. So it was very useful to hold these discussions with Chief Negotiator Barnier at this point, as the efforts to forge the new relationship are now in motion. We went through Finland’s key interests and goals for the new relationship in detail,” explained Prime Minister Sipilä.

“Finland has traditionally maintained very close trade relations with the United Kingdom. It is vitally important to ensure that trade between the UK and the EU countries remains as close and free as possible. Other key priorities for us are the continuation of close security cooperation and ensuring that aviation links operate smoothly. Michel Barnier and I discussed these matters thoroughly,” said Prime Minister Sipilä.

During his visit, Chief Negotiator Barnier also met President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö, Minister of Finance Petteri Orpo, Minister for European Affairs, Culture and Sport Sampo Terho and members of the parliamentary Grand Committee, Foreign Affairs Committee and Commerce Committee, as well as stakeholder and business representatives.

Inquiries: Kare Halonen, State Secretary for EU Affairs, tel. +358 295 160 319, Riikka Pakarinen, Special Adviser (EU Affairs), tel. +358 40 580 0833 and Anne Sjöholm, Head of Communications for EU Affairs, tel. +358 40 537 0733, Prime Minister’s Office

Photos of the meeting for the media: 
Government: flickr.com/finnishgovernment
Office of the President of the Republic: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tpkanslia
Parliament: https://www.flickr.com/photos/finnishparliament  

A video of the press conference held by Prime Minister Sipilä and Chief Negotiator Barnier.