Japan says trade deal with EU is ‘first priority’ over deal with UK after Brexit
All countries have a place in the world, but what appears to be happening is that Brexiter exceptionalism is now leading to a victim complex. Instead of the UK holding “all the cards” it is now the EU bullies putting us down!
Our Government’s aspirations of an independent trading policy are just that: aspirational. Practicalities are being prioritised over hope. International trade secretary Liam Fox’s current efforts are being devoted to rolling over existing trade deals and replicating current EU tariffs and quotas.
Other countries are conducting talks with the EU and the UK based on their own national interests, rather than the interests of British Brexiters.
Chile and South Korea are discussing imposing conditions on Mr Fox’s requests for rolling over trade deals. The USA lead a group of six countries on challenging the UK-EU method of splitting agricultural quotas. Elsewhere, other countries are conducting talks with the EU first – leaving the UK in abeyance until the Brexit process is concluded.
For the next 33 months the UK government is going to be consumed by avoiding a cliff edge Brexit, which all parties have delayed until 31 December 2020, when the proposed transition period runs its course. The ability to further delay a cliff edge Brexit is legally uncertain. In any case, it might meet international concern among other WTO members.
Back home, future unresolved customs problems continue to pile up. In a March 2018 parliamentary committee hearing, Theresa May cast doubts on her own planned customs implementation policy timetable. Elsewhere, her ministers have made announcements indicating that customs or regulatory checks will not be undertaken on lorries arriving at some or all UK points of entry.
Brexiters are stuck. Idealism is not being translated into workable solutions. The Brexiters’ escape route from the impossibilities of their own creation is to blame others; moan, or throw fish into the River Thames.