Liam Fox’s former trade chief – “Brexit trade deals will be worse than current EU deals”
By TruePublica: Countries are likely to offer the United Kingdom worse trade deals than it currently enjoys as a member of the European Union, the former head of Liam Fox’s International Trade Department has formally stated.
Business Insider confirms that Sir Martin Donnelly, who was the Permanent Secretary of the Department for International Trade until 2017, said that the UK could offer less market access as an individual country than as part the EU, and would therefore be offered less favourable terms when negotiating free trade arrangements after Brexit.
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“The United Kingdom alone can offer significantly less in terms of market access or government procurement than can all of the European Union. That means that other countries are less likely to offer us the same deal because they don’t get the same benefits,” Donnelly said.
“Trade negotiators are not sentimental, they look for reciprocity of benefits” – he added.
Trade Secretary Fox promised that the UK would roll over dozens of existing EU free trade arrangements “the second after” the UK left the EU, the scheduled date for which has been delayed by at least two weeks beyond March 29.
So far, Fox and his department have signed up about 12 per cent of the equivalent trade deal the UK has with the EU as a member.
Many major trading partners of the UK including Japan have indicated that they will seek tougher concessions from the UK in trade talks than it secured from the EU when they agreed the terms of a free trade deal in 2018. This is because the EU is a very large market and acts as a single trading body not as 28 components.
Japanese trade negotiators are confident they can extract better terms, the Financial Times reported, a sign of how difficult Fox’s task may be in attempting to strike independent trade deals once the UK has left the EU.
“By negotiating as a country of 65 million, we start in a significantly less attractive position than when we are a part of a bloc of around 500 million. That’s what’s coming back to us from the negotiations, and that is not surprising” – said Donnelly.
He said the lack of clarity around the government’s trade policy once it has left the EU would act as an impediment to striking liberal trade deals because foreign companies would demand certainty about the UK’s trading arrangements on issues including rules of origin.
“Once you include issues like rules of origin, it becomes more complicated for their companies. They want to know if they’re based in the UK can they still be part of a European supply chain, which gets benefits from EU trade deals, or not?“
Even though US negotiators have already reached an outline framework with the UK – Washington has also indicated that it will take a typically hard line, despite Donald Trump saying trade with the UK would “increase substantially” after Brexit.
The US Trade Representative earlier this month published its “negotiating objectives” for a future trade deal with the UK once it has left the EU.
The document states that the UK must “remove expeditiously unwarranted barriers that block the export of U.S. food and agricultural products.“
It adds that “unjustified trade restrictions,” such as the ban on the sale of chlorinated chicken and hormone-injected beef in the UK, must be removed in order to “eliminate practices that unfairly decrease U.S. market access opportunities.”
The same applies to American corporations and insurance companies having access to the NHS.