VILNIUS – Ties between the European Union and the United Kingdom should be kept as close as possible, irrespective of the outcome of their trade talks, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda says.
The president is attending a European Council meeting in Brussels on Thursday and Friday, with Brexit being one of the key topics.
"No matter what the scenario will be, I think it's very important to keep the United Kingdom as close as possible to the EU," Nauseda told journalists in Brussels.
Europe needs to prepared to both Brexit scenarios, and if the two sides fail to reach agreement, "we need a very clear contingency plan", he said.
The Lithuanian president also thanked the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier for his effort to reach the final agreement with the UK.
"Everybody is interested in having the deal closed," Nauseda said.
EU officials have been warning recently that time is running out for Brussels and London to complete their post-Brexit trade talks as rules to ensure equal competition conditions and access for EU fishermen to British waters remaining the main sticking points.