The EU will be devoid of the strategic role of the U.K. following Brexit, Turkey’s EU minister stated on Saturday.

Omer Celik made the remarks at a panel focusing on post-Brexit Turkey-U.K. and EU-U.K. relations with Alan Duncan, Britain’s minister for Europe and Americas, at the 7th Tatli Dil Forum – a mechanism to improve cooperation between Turkey and the U.K.

Celik said the EU will be devoid of British partnership in strategy following Brexit, but Turkey and the U.K., as two big democracies of Europe, will continue cooperation after Brexit, according to ministry sources.

Underlining that it will not be possible for the EU, which is dealing with multiple crises, to adapt to the changing international system without Turkey and the U.K. and remain an effective actor, Celik said Europe’s security could not be considered complete without those two countries, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

Celik also said that as the U.K.’s departure from the union would affect bilateral ties due to Turkey’s Customs Union with the bloc and other regulations under EU law, an independent free trade agreement is foreseen between Turkey and the U.K. in the post-Brexit era.

Celik said officials from both countries are holding technical meetings to improve Brexit’s political, economic, commercial and legal outcome.

Celik attended a dinner Friday evening at the end of the first day of the 7th Tatli Dil Forum with Duke of York Prince Andrew and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Celik and Johnson emphasized the significance of bilateral relations and cooperation.

The 7th Tatli Dil Forum will end Sunday.

Published in https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/turkish-minister-warns-eu-over-post-brexit-uk-role/1143278