Fears arise that Brexit could scupper EU-Singapore trade deal

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Concerns have been raised that the UK's departure from the EU could jeopardise the planned free trade agreement between the EU and Singapore.

Businesses are voicing concerns that the UK's decision to leave the European Union could have a damaging impact on a planned free trade agreement (FTA) between the EU and Singapore.

The EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA) was the first FTA signed between the EU and a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. It was originally expected to come into force by the end of 2015, but was delayed after the European Commission requested a European Court of Justice opinion on its competency to ratify the deal.

It now needs to be approved by the European Parliament before coming into force, but businesses have expressed to Channel NewsAsia their fears that the Brexit vote will throw further obstacles in the FTA's path, potentially scuppering it entirely.

Singapore Business Federation chief executive Ho Meng Kit said there is little appetite for the EUSFTA to be renegotiated post-Brexit, as the deal has already been agreed by both sides.

Meanwhile, Cicero Group executive director Andrew Naylor said: "Without the British, the composition of the European Parliament will be even more extreme, with significant hard left and extreme right groupings. Both of these groups are less likely to support the ratification of an FTA."