Finland reacts negatively to results of British parliamentary voting on Brexit deal

Source: Xinhua| 2019-01-16 22:00:47|Editor: xuxin
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HELSINKI, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Confederation of Finnish Industries expressed its concerns in a media release on Wednesday morning, after the British parliament rejected late Tuesday overwhelmingly the exit agreement negotiated with the EU.

"No one emerges as a winner from this," said Taneli Lahti, the director for trade policy and EU issues at the Confederation of Finnish Industries, referring to the defeat of the Brexit deal.

Lahti said it is difficult to understand what the majority of the British parliament was against. "The agreement was as advantageous to the UK as possible and the declaration about the future comprised all possibilities."

Lahti noted that the Finnish business hopes for the best, but prepares for the worst.

In January-August 2018, the UK was the seventh largest export target country of Finland. In imports it was the tenth largest, according to trade statistics.

Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila deplored the rejection of the agreement late Tuesday. He said in a social media entry that it was expected though. Sipila said Finland along with the rest of EU prepares now for the hard departure of the UK.

Sipila said earlier on Tuesday that the Finnish interests had been taken into account in the agreement, particularly in the appendixes. One of particular Finnish concerns is the continuation of air traffic as smoothly as possible. The Finnish state-majority-owned airline Finnair offers high volume transit travel to the UK via Helsinki and connections via the UK.

Teija Tiilikainen, director of the Finnish Institute for International Affairs (FIIA), said late Tuesday that the arrangements were rejected both by the opponents of Brexit and its backers. "It looks very difficult that something could be built around the now defeated agreement", she said.

Juhana Aunesluoma, director of the European studies program at the Helsinki University, said the voting result makes it impossible to offer a second solution to the British parliament again. "With a less clear defeat, (Theresa) May could have presented an agreement to the parliament again."

Timo Vuori, the director for international affairs at the Finnish Central Chamber of Commerce, said Brexit "does not meet the political and economical interests of Britain - nor the EU". He said that the markets both in Britain and the EU are "unlikely to be disappointed" if the whole Brexit could be canceled in the end.