Another Brexiter false promise: trade with rest of world

Salisbury for Europe

by Michael Emerson | 14.09.2017

Michael Emerson is Associate Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), Brussels.

Liam Fox keeps saying that the UK will be able to make fantastic new trade deals with the rest of the world. This is another false promise by the Brexit brigade.
Our international trade secretary cannot legally negotiate any free trade deal until after withdrawal has happened. But Fox has still been able to explore the prospects – and they are not looking good.

Let’s divide the world into three categories:
1. Well over 100 countries with which the EU already has free trade or other preferential agreements actually in force or requiring only final formalities.
Here there is no possible gain. Indeed, we will go backwards unless the UK can rapidly conclude free trade deals after withdrawal. Theresa May’s desire for a transitional deal to avoid a cliff…

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