05:21 GMT +328 September 2016
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Shale Gas Supplier to UK Urges Britain to Retain 'Backbone' During Brexit Talks

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Britain Says 'Cheerio' to EU (411)

Common sense will prevail in UK-EU talks on Brexit if the United Kingdom stands firm to reach an arrangement on good terms with the bloc, Jim Ratcliffe, the chairman and founder of chemicals giant INEOS with offices in Switzerland and Britain, said.

GRANGEMOUTH (Scotland), (Sputnik) — Ratcliffe spoke to a press conference following the arrival of the company's first shipment to the United Kingdom of shale gas from the United States.

"I think there will be a few petty arguments in the negotiations with Europe, that is bound to surface, but ultimately our view is that common sense will prevail and we'll have a sensible arrangement with mainland Europe. The UK as the 5th largest economy in the world is too big for Europe to ignore," Ratcliff, a British national himself, told journalists.

The INEOS head went on to say that both the United Kingdom and the European Union were too dependent on each other economically to not reach a mutually beneficial deal.

"Mercedes don't want to not sell cars into the UK. It's too big a market. Equally we are dependent on mainland European markets so I think we are mutually dependent. I think common sense will prevail as long as we retain our backbone in the negotiation in Europe," Ratcliffe said.

Turning to the forthcoming UK-EU negotiations following Brexit, Ratcliffe added he did not think they would be too different from the kind of talks his company was engaged in already.

"All the decisions are made at three in the morning when the other side wilts. We [the UK Government] must not be the side that wilts at 3 o'clock in the morning, we need to retain our backbone," Ratcliffe said.

INEOS believes the start of shale gas shipments to the United Kingdom will turn their loss-making refinery at Grangemouth into a multi-million profit-making facility and will secure jobs in the area for at least 20 years.

INEOS has secured shale gas exploration licenses for 700 square miles of Scotland. The company says it wants to invest 640 million pounds ($910 million) in fracking despite the Scottish moratorium on the technique, which draws criticism from environmental groups for its detrimental effect on nature, especially soil and underground waters.

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Brexit, shale gas, Ineos, European Union, Jim Ratcliffe, Britain
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