WORDS: Gary Kelly
The former head of Liam Fox’s International Trade Department has admitted that Brexit trade deals will be worse than existing EU deals.
Sir Martin Donnelly, the former Permanent Secretary of the Department of International Trade has said to Business Insider that: “The United Kingdom alone can offer significantly less in terms of market access and government procurement than can all of the European Union”. This seems obvious, however this issue has been the source of some debate between Leavers and Remainers online and in pubs around the country.
Donnelly goes on to say, “Other countries are less likely to offer us the same deal because they don’t get the same benefits. Trade negotiators are not sentimental, they look for reciprocity of benefits”.
The above seems counter to Liam Fox’s promise that the UK would roll over dozens of existing EU trade agreements “the second after” the UK left the EU. Given that the date for the UK leaving the EU has been delayed by at least 2 week after the original official leaving date of March 29th it is anyones guess what has in reality been put in place by the Tory government’s negotiators.
Trading partners such as Japan have already indicated that they will be seeking tougher deals from the UK in the event of leaving the EU. Japan will of course know that the UK is in a significantly weaker negotiating position as a country of 65 million rather than a larger trading bloc of 500 million people as part of the EU.