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Minister for Brexit David Davis appeared unaware of how EU trade deals actually work

(14 Posts)
SnowBells Sat 16-Jul-16 09:58:58

Oh FFS... when will this idiocracy stop? facepalm

Is this because Britain has no longer wants 'experts'?

Article for Independent: Minister for Brexit David Davis appeared unaware of how EU trade deals actually work

SuburbanRhonda Sat 16-Jul-16 10:08:49

To be fair, most leavers on this forum appeared to think setting up new trade deals would be a piece of piss.

Mind you, none of them is "Minister for Brexit".

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 16-Jul-16 10:12:07

I'm hoping that since he wrote those things (pre Brexit) he has done some proper research.

However hope seems naive these days...

STIDW Sat 16-Jul-16 10:38:35

He was the Minister of State for Europe in John Major's government & a committed Eurosceptic. If he was unaware how EU deals actually work a month or so before the EU referendum it doesn't inspire a great deal of confidence does it?

squoosh Sat 16-Jul-16 15:09:54

I can't work out if Davis is Walter Mitty or Frank Spencer.

LurkingHusband Mon 18-Jul-16 17:37:15

I knew this before June 23rd. So did a BBC reporter grilling a Leave spokesperson 14th June on R4 PM. When they pointed out that individual EU countries would be unable to negotiate separately, they just spoke over the interviewer, who tried to point out that the (in)famous Canada deal took over 7 years (and that's one country).

On the plus side a single UK-EU trade deal sounds a lot easier than 27 individual trade deals. However that trade deal is going to have to leave 27 countries feeling better off than before.

GrandadGrumps Mon 18-Jul-16 21:17:10

I'm a Remain supporter but I'm astonished at the spin being put on this story. It's a complete misrepresentation of what was actually said and it makes me wonder how much of what's reported in the Remain-supporting press is being wrongly reported.

What was actually said was:

"Indeed the first calling point of the UK’s negotiator in the time immediately after Brexit will not be Brussels, it will be Berlin, to strike the deal: absolute access for German cars and industrial goods, in exchange for a sensible deal on everything else.

Similar deals would be reached with other key EU nations.

France would want to protect the £3bn of food and wine it exports to the UK. We have seen the sort of political pressure French farmers are willing to bring to bear when their livelihoods are threatened, and France will also be holding a general election in 2017.

Italy will deal to protect its billion-pound fashion exports. And Poland its multi-billion pound manufacturing and electronics exports.

So there is almost certainly going to be a deal, one that maintains a free market between the EU and the UK."

That's a deal, singular, a single deal between the UK and the EU. He was saying that he's intending to talk to the other EU members (or at least the key influential ones) in advance of a trade deal being negotiated to try to persuade all 27 members to agree to a 'simple' free trade deal.

Now I've no idea whether that's actually feasible or even allowed, but it's a very different thing to this suggestion that he thinks we can make a separate trade deal with each EU member. Anyone suggesting that he's said that loses a considerable amount of credibility themselves in my view.

smallfox2002 Mon 18-Jul-16 22:26:48

But it won't be Berlin, because the German's can't and won't formally negotiate on behalf of all of the other EU nations, and you can't agree on thing with one country. That is the point he is suggesting that it is possible to strike deals with individual nations/ get deas from the EU based on individual interests, it doesn't work like that.

GrandadGrumps Mon 18-Jul-16 22:49:06

Well I understand exactly what he meant, and from what I've read from you on here you seem far more intelligent and better educated than me so I assume you actually understand it just as well as I do.

He was suggesting that we can sell the deal to EU members on an individual basis, playing on what advantages their individual countries would gain from it, before formal negotiations are even begun. He wasn't suggesting that any single country can negotiate on behalf of the EU, just that we can appeal to the individual self-interest of many key members, if not all members.

As I said, I've no idea if that's possible at all, but the way the Independent (and you) are portraying what he said is cynical and disingenuous and casts doubt on many other claims that I would otherwise have accepted at face value.

smallfox2002 Tue 19-Jul-16 00:28:50

Thats the thing though Grandad, you can't sell the deal to EU members as individuals, that's why they are in the EU because their bargaining power is far greater together than it is on their own.

Suggesting that we can get what we want because we can approach the perceived individual needs of nations, whilst gaining access to all the rest of the deals that we want demonstrates a consderable naivity on his behalf.

For example he says that you would go to Berlin to strike a deal with the Germans on access for cars and industrial equipment, it sounds reasonable, until you realise that a German deal for cars would have to include those built in France, Italy, Spain, Czech and Poland as well if it were to have any validity with the EU. So the German's would be unable to come to a deal on German cars. Neither would any of the other countries on things that are in their national interests with out the acquiescence of the other member states.

Yes there will be an element of individual national interest in the negoitations, but what gives these countries the upper hand is that the are negotiating as a group, to the worlds largest market, and the one that takes 44% of our exports, and has trade deals that take another 15%, further to this UK trade is worth 3% of GDP to the EU and 15% of UK GDP.

This gives the EU negotiators the upper hand in any trade deal, and for dd to suggest that you would be able to pick off member states individually when it is in their best interest to act together, and legally binding for them to do so, is a bit worrying for someone who was Minister for the EU.

whatwouldrondo Tue 19-Jul-16 01:19:48

This was Davies in February www.conservativehome.com/platform/2016/02/david-davis-britain-would-be-better-off-out-of-the-eu-and-heres-why.html There are lots of holes you can pick in his rambling argument, especially in the light of the ultimate leave arguments eg that the emergency break on access to public funds that Cameron negotiated was not an effective deterrent because 75% of EU immigrants do not have children and in work would not be able to access much in the way of tax credits etc. Apart from the fact that it surely wasn't meant to deter those coming here to work quite how then are these young childless working people taking all the school places and clogging the NHS (aside from all the ones keeping it going?)

However the most striking thing is the table on WTO trade which cropped up time and again in remain arguments. Does he not understand how to assess risk? Or what red means on a balance sheet or in highlighting risk This is one of the pieces of evidence that weighted heavily in my decision to vote remain! He does go on to try and minimise the potential impact of that £16bn of surplus at high risk - to paraphrase "it will be fine" but betrays a total lack of understanding of what the City does and it's sources of competitive advantage.......

whatwouldrondo Tue 19-Jul-16 01:21:42

It doesn't show up too well but it is in the link.

GrandadGrumps Tue 19-Jul-16 08:05:37

Thats the thing though Grandad, you can't sell the deal to EU members as individuals

I'm not sure that's true is it? I realise that the actual deal has to be done with the EU but informal talks with other members in advance of formal talks seems to me to be perfectly feasible, it's how most contentious issues are resolved isn't it?

For example he says that you would go to Berlin to strike a deal with the Germans on access for cars and industrial equipment, it sounds reasonable, until you realise that a German deal for cars would have to include those built in France, Italy, Spain, Czech and Poland as well if it were to have any validity with the EU. So the German's would be unable to come to a deal on German cars. Neither would any of the other countries on things that are in their national interests with out the acquiescence of the other member states.

Agreed, but this wasn't a statement of how he's planning to go about things next month, it was an off-the-cuff explanation of how it could be in each member's interest to preserve the status quo, and how a deal could be sold to them. There's nothing there that suggests he thought that he can do a deal with the Germans without the same deal applying throughout the EU.

I absolutely agree with you that the EU have the upper hand in this. My point was only that The Independent article you linked to is deliberately misrepresenting what was said and making a big issue out of nothing.

smallfox2002 Tue 19-Jul-16 09:06:56

"informal talks with other members in advance of formal talks seems to me to be perfectly feasible, it's how most contentious issues are resolved isn't it?"

Informal chats with individual countries don't mean anything, in fact there has already been a ruling out of informal talks before article 50 is set.

www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/27/europe-leaders-crunch-talks-brexit-fallout

To me the bit where he says "the first stop wouldn't be Brussles but Berlin" suggests that he thought that an arrangement could be arrived at individually. I'm afraid we'll have to disagree on this one.

I also don't think it is in member states interest to preserve the status quo, they'd be fine if we agreed to a Norway style deal, but in no way is this pie in the sky deal going to happen. The EU will not grant the UK full access to the common market without the UK operating within the constraints of the EU. For two major reasons, why would the member states grant the UK a bespoke deal that means the UK benefits more from the EU than member states? Second it gives the EU a weaker hand in future negotiations.

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