A senior Liberal Democrat MEP has welcomed an EU trade deal with Singapore as a potential gateway for the UK's insurance and banking sector into the Asian market.
Catherine Bearder, the Liberal Democrat European spokesperson on international trade, commented Sunday's (16.12) conclusion of the EU's negotiations with Singapore:
"This free trade deal with Singapore will bring huge benefits to the UK's financial services sector in particular.
"Negotiating as a block of 27 countries with the biggest single market in the world has given Brussels the necessary weight to insist that European banks will enjoy a level playing field with US competitors. Britain on its own would have struggled to achieve such a great result.
"The deal is also a benchmark in promoting green growth as it will simplify trade and investment in environmental technologies."
The EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Singapore follows in the steps of the successful EU-South Korea FTA which came into force in July 2011. Negotiations on a FTA between the EU and Japan have been given the green light last month.
The deal must now be approved by EU Member States and the European Parliament before it can go into force.
The Commission's press release on the trade deal can be found here: