Germany's Sigmar Gabriel: Brexit deal could serve as model for Turkey, Ukraine
11:10, Tuesday, 26 December, 2017
Germany's Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel proposed on Tuesday that the European Union's upcoming Brexit deal with the UK could serve as a template for relations with other non-EU states, namely Turkey and Ukraine.
Gabriel told Germany's Funke media group: "If we can reach a smart agreement with Great Britain that outlines its relations with Europe after Brexit, then that could serve as a model for other countries."Berlin's top diplomat added that he could not see either Turkey or Ukraine joining the bloc anytime soon, and that the EU therefore "needs to consider alternative forms of closer cooperation."
Gabriel also suggested that such an approach by Brussels could lead to a "new, closer form of customs union" with Ankara.
Even though the situation in Turkey had demonstrated that the country was still some way away from accession to the EU, Gabriel said, recent gestures by Ankara showed a willingness to improve relations with Brussels. That willingness was shared by Berlin, he added.