Dutch PM Rutte says 'crazy' if EU, Britain fail to agree on trade

FILE PHOTO: Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte arrives on the second day of a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium October 2, 2020. Olivier Matthys/Pool via REUTERS

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - It would be “crazy” if the EU and the UK failed to agree a new trade deal, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on arriving to Brexit talks with the other national leaders of the bloc meeting in Brussels on Thursday.

“It would be crazy for the outside world if the UK and the EU will not be able to come to an agreement,” Rutte told reporters. “I think it’s in both our interest economically and geopolitically to get to a deal.”

He said he was “still cautiously optimistic” about resolving the latest controversy over implementing Britain’s earlier EU divorce treaty, which is at risk of being undercut if a new UK law called the Internal Market Bill is approved.

Reporting by Marine Strauss and John Chalmers, Writing by Gabriela Baczynska