UK Secretary of State for International Trade on future EU-UK trade relations

UK Secretary of State for International Trade on future EU-UK trade relations

20/07/17

Melanie Ullrich, Business and Policy Programme Manager

The post-Brexit EU-UK trade deal should be “one of the easiest in human history”, according to Liam Fox, UK Secretary of State for International Trade, speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. His expectations are based on the fact that currently there are “zero tariffs and maximum regulatory equivalence” in trade between the UK and the European Union (EU).

In contrast to this, Pascal Lamy, former Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and former European Trade Commissioner, said that the negotiations for a new EU-UK trade regime will be long, costly and complex. Lamy, who spoke as part of the Asia House Brexit Series, said that the outcome would be less free trade for both sides and he assumed that negotiations will take up to ten years.

Marc Vanheukelen, EU Ambassador to the WTO, and Sir Jonathan Faull, who until his retirement in January 2017 was the European Commission’s most senior British official, will brief Asia House corporate members in September on the process of the UK leaving the EU.