Details of the government's post-Brexit trade policy will become clearer as it publishes proposed legislation.
Ministers say their Trade Bill includes provisions for the UK to implement existing EU trade agreements and help ensure firms can still access £1.3 tn worth of foreign government contracts.
It will also create a new trade remedies body to defend UK businesses against injurious trade practices.
After the Great Repeal Bill, this is the next piece of Brexit legislation to come. There's plenty more!
The legislation hopes to do two things:
- Transfer the existing EU trade deals into UK law post Brexit, thus allowing the UK to trade with non-EU countries on the same basis as now.
- Allow the UK to make new trade agreements post Brexit, as it sees fit.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was in London in the summer and met May and will be back in London next week. He's made good noises on a free trade deal between Britain and America, but he did say that issues such as financial passporting and chlorinated chicken, GM crops and tariffs could be bones of contention with Britain. Doesn't sound much of a deal, if they're talking about tariffs.
Basically, our banks, accountants etc can operate on the same basis in the EU and America, as they operate here. As London is the financial capital of the world, this passporting is key to London's success, but may be under threat according to Ross.
The much publicised bleached chicken is controversial for us, it certainly was for the Germans, which is why they blocked it in the EU-US trade deal and caused years of delays in their trade negotiations. Are we going to allow bleached chicken here?
With The Great Repeal Bill being severely delayed as the government go through the many amendments to it, Whitehall officials are openly saying that Brexit legislation will overwhelm the system and we're only onto the second bill! What hope is there to get all this Brexit legislation passed before March 2019 when we leave the EU? There's still several more major Brexit related bills to come. We haven't even had a bill on immigration yet, 18 months after we voted to "take back control."