The Government has a busy time ahead if it plans to truly seize the huge opportunities of Brexit by staking out an ambitious independent trade policy that makes Britain once again a global powerhouse. Not only does it have to get a good deal out of Brussels and Berlin, which it should, but it also has a duty to open up trade links with the much bigger world lying beyond Europe’s shores. Leave.EU will be making its expectations known by closely following the Government’s activity, offering analysis on what’s being done and recommending what should be done.
LEAVE.EU INSIGHT AND ANALYSIS
Leaving the European Union is a unique opportunity for Britain to play to its strengths in an increasingly globalised and interconnected world.
The nature of global trade has changed beyond all recognition since we joined the EEC in 1973. The architects of the European Union knew nothing of the internet, modern communication technology, low-cost air travel, and mass container shipping. Today it is as easy to agree a transaction in Colombia or Calcutta as it is in Berlin or Bratislava. Moreover, Britain has a natural advantage in English speaking countries. With its ties around the world through migration, trade, and shared culture, it makes no sense for the UK to be locked into a regional customs union.
Addressing Britain’s new-found freedom to arrange trade deals on her own terms, Liam Fox was appointed in a new key role in Theresa May’s first Cabinet as Prime Minister – Secretary of State for International Trade – and he has already survived reshuffles. This new role clearly emphasises Britain’s desire to be trading around the world, moving towards a broader focus than just Europe.
One key gain of leaving the EU will be the restoration of Britain’s seat on the World Trade Organisation. The Commonwealth will also play an important role in Britain’s post-Brexit global position. Countries such as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have already voiced a desire to sign trade agreements with Britain. Liam Fox has already established a working committee with our Australian cousins to prepare trade terms to be signed as soon as is legal.
At the outset of the “Asian century”, interest from India, China, and South Korea opens the door to huge trade opportunities that did not exist before. Global growth forecasts for Asia and for the Commonwealth greatly outstrip those of the Eurozone. Rising economic actors across Asia, Africa, and South America offer unlimited opportunities for UK business.
Now is the time for Britain to go global. Unleashed from the shackles of a declining European customs union and its increasingly burdensome regulations, Britain can flourish as a global player like never before!
Can we? Can’t we?
Liam Fox has often cut a frustrated figure in his new role. The EU has a vested interest in Britain failing to secure new trade opportunities. Fully aware that the United Kingdom is uniquely placed to do so, Brussels has been quick to slap down the prospect of the UK signing a trade deal before Article 50 elapses in 2019 and has been all too keen to muddy the waters on what the British government can and cannot do.
Legally, the UK is entirely free to approach other nations and begin negotiations towards a trade deal. As an EU Member State, it is only forbidden from signing an agreement – the last and least complicated part of the process. In line with standard procedure towards a free trade agreement, a working group has already been set up with the United States. Should Fox go any further with any of the host of countries eager to open up commercial opportunities with Great Britain, the EU has indicated it would punish Britain by breaking off the Article 50 negotiations, which would be illegal.
Fox has been manfully touring the globe to rebuild relations left dormant after almost 50 years of EU membership. He will be pushing to be given as much free reign as possible during the transition period running 2019-2021 in order to make the most of independence as early as possible while putting pressure on the EU to come to terms with its lack of stature in a new world where Europe counts for a dwindling amount of economic output.
TRADE NEWS & BLOG
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During the transition, Brussels is also set to have the power to obstruct Britain’s trade ventures into the wider world and fisheries will remain subject to the ruinous Common Fisheries Policy. December’s withdrawal agreement with the European Council, which signalled the end of phase I and the dawn of phase II, trade, was supposed to be a point of no return, it was not.read more