Prime Minister Stephen Hammond said Amazon was looking for “a new market”.
“I am absolutely convinced that Amazon is the right partner for the UK and I think that the best way to achieve that is to work with Amazon,” he said.
The European Union’s free trade agreement (FTA) with Amazon is due to come into force in 2019, and will see its members sign up to the EU’s online retail trade agreement with the US, Australia and Canada.
But there have been strong concerns over the agreement, with EU officials citing a number of provisions that could limit competition.
In a report, the European Commission accused Amazon of using its dominance in digital markets to pressure governments to “undermine the democratic right to buy and to buy legally”.
The commission also said the US firm was “unacceptable” to European regulators, as it was “not a member of the European market”.
The UK government said it would not be part of the FTA if it did not sign up, but Hammond was not convinced.
“I think the Government will have a very difficult time securing the kind of commitment from the US to negotiate a new trade agreement for the United Kingdom that we want,” he told reporters.
The Prime Minister said the UK would not sign the agreement if it came to a vote in parliament, and would not allow any deal that “does not represent the best interests of the UK”.
“We have been clear that this is a long-term deal,” he added.
Amazon’s UK business is estimated to be worth more than £13bn ($20bn), with more than half its sales going to Europe.
Amazon has said it wants to establish itself in Europe by providing online retail services, including its own online grocery and grocery delivery services, and by buying technology firms to help it build its e-commerce business.
However, some British politicians have questioned the EU plan, saying the UK could be left behind if it left the EU.
“We are not interested in signing an FTA with Amazon.
We want the best deal for Britain, which means that we can continue to be a British company in Europe,” the UK Business Secretary, Vince Cable, said on Monday.
Amazon said it was considering the comments and will comment in due course.
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