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11 countries are queuing up to trade with us

28 replies

Dowser · 01/07/2016 20:38

By Lukas Mikelionis | 4:49 am, June 29, 2016
While Brexit doom-mongers have been focussing on the challenges of keeping access to the EU’s single market (16% of global trade – less once we’re gone), they forget there is a world elsewhere.

Green shoots are already emerging, as other countries start to realise the possibilities of free trade deals with a newly-liberated Britain, less than a week after the referendum:

The United States: We take it back
Many still remember Barack Obama’s interjectioninto the referendum debate, in which he told voters to stay in the EU – and was promptly ignored.

In one veiled threat he claimed an independent Britain, would be at the “back of the queue.”

Since Friday, however, the tune has changed and he assured the special relationship between the countries hasn’t suffered. He hasn’t mentioned queues (a British word that raised suspicions it was a Remain campaign plant) since.

“The ‘back of the queue’ statement will be forgotten by the next administration, if not sooner,” claimsGary Hufbauer, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute of International Economics.


A former deputy U.S. Trade Representative, Miriam Sapiro, thinks it might be even easier for the US to negotiatea trade deal with Britain, a “like-minded” country that is more open to free trade than other EU member states.

Meanwhile, members of Congress are alreadyopenly and seriously discussing the possibilities of a U.S-UK trade deal.

Iceland: First!
Iceland wasthe first country to offer Britain a trade deal following the referendum.

Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, Iceland’s president, said the UK can join a “triangle” of non-EU countries, including Greenland, Iceland, Norway and the Faroe Islands in the European Free Trade Area (EFTA).

Despite confessing himself not in love with the idea of Brexit, he talked upthe opportunities it could bring to the North Atlantic in an interview with Icelandic media.

India: Can we finally have a deal with someone in Europe?
The one-time colony (which has almost three times as many citizens as the EU) is looking forward to striking a deal, according to reports in the Financial Times.

The EU’s last attempt at a deal began nine years ago and has stalledwith no obvious prospect of resumption.

Indian deputy finance minister Jayant Sinha said: “The UK is going to look to build its relationships with the rest of the world, and will seek to pursue new opportunities with us.”

Prime Minister David Cameron shakes hands with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi
Germany: Free trade, please, but don’t tell Merkel
Although as an EU member it has no power to strike its own deal, Germany – Britain’s biggest trade partner – is keen to keep the doors open.

The German Finance Ministry advisedthe EU to enter into negotiations aiming at making the UK an “associated partner country”of the trade block.

This comes after Germany industry giants pressed the government to strike a free trade deal in the event of Britain leaving the EU.

New Zealand and Australia: Commonwealth pals
Two more former colonies – with whom Britain has very close cultural ties – have shown interest in striking trade deals with Britain.

Both countries have been negotiating with the EU, but Britain’s surprise withdrawal has made the dealless attractive – and encouraged them to think about embracing the UK.

New Zealand First party leader Winston Peters said “a trade deal with the UK is an absolute priority” and “New Zealand must be the first country in the queue for a trade deal with a liberated United Kingdom.”

Labour Party leader Andrew Little suggested New Zealand should draw on its long and historic relationship with the UK to ensure future trade.

Meanwhile, Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull suggested New Zealand and Australia could team up to negotiate a single deal with the UK.

The African nation was quick out of the traps to propose a trade deal. Ghanaian foreign minister Hannah Tetteh said she was working up a delegation already.

The West African nation already has a trade deal with the EU, but wants to keep seamless access to Britain. Brexit could offer a chance to tweak the arrangements to suit both nations better.

Protectionist EU agricultural policiespenaliseAfrican countries, meaning freer trade with the UK could help them to prosperity through trade.

Canada: We are cautious outside, but can’t wait inside
The Justin Trudeau administration has reacted with caution to the news of Britain leaving the EU – but assured continuingties.

“The UK and the EU are important strategic partners for Canada with whom we enjoy deep historical ties and common values. We will continue to build relations with both parties as they forge a new relationship,” a government statement said.

The Sunalso reported today that Canadian officialshad approached the Foreign Office for talks.

Mexico: We already have a draft
While Iceland was the first one to offer a trade deal to Britain, Mexico has beaten it by already drafting a trade pact between the countries.

Fearing temporary economic instability that Brexit could bring, the finance minister was encouraged to draft a trade agreement with the UK.

Switzerland: “Interested and open”
The president of Switzerland, Johann Schneider-Ammann, has reached out to Britain and would support our attempt to joinEFTA (European Free Trade Association).

At a media conference,the President was asked “Whether the UK would be welcome in the EFTA family?”

He responded: “We are interested and open.”

South Korea
Business Secretary Sajid Javid has also revealed today that South Korea contacted the government to begin bilateral trade talks as soon as possible.

OP posts:
Dowser · 01/07/2016 20:39
OP posts:
BeenThereDoneThatForgotten · 01/07/2016 20:40

What are we going to sell to them?

stiffstink · 01/07/2016 20:41

Haggis of course!

Chupachupslips · 01/07/2016 20:42

Sounds like a start Smile

BeenThereDoneThatForgotten · 01/07/2016 20:42

Bearing in mind we already sell to these countries.

Juliancopescat · 01/07/2016 20:45

Love the fact that India is referred to as 'a former colony'!!!!

Factual but oh so telling.

Who has written this dross?

GraceGrape · 01/07/2016 20:46

I'm open to positivity but I think any deals are going to be more in the interests of the other parties. India has a big manufacturing sector so they would have a lot to sell us. How can these deals benefit our financial-services based economy (genuinely interested to know).

SonicSpotlight · 01/07/2016 20:47

'Bearing in mind we already sell to these countries'

My first thought too!

BeenThereDoneThatForgotten · 01/07/2016 20:54

People don't seem to understand that the EU doesn't prevent us from trading all over the world. It just standardises the terms and actually has an interest in safety standards and corporate social responsibility eg with regard to slave/ child labour etc.

BeenThereDoneThatForgotten · 01/07/2016 20:59

This makes it sound like we don't currently buy anything from India. Tata Steel anyone? Much in the news recently. This is a huge conglomerate. My EU firm uses their consultancy services for a huge number of on and off shore IT developers.

Alisvolatpropiis · 01/07/2016 21:01

As has already been noted, we sell to these countries already. This isn't news.

BeenThereDoneThatForgotten · 01/07/2016 21:06

Maybe there is an untapped market in North Korea for whisky and Kendal mint cake?

BitOutOfPractice · 01/07/2016 21:12

We've always traded with these countries.

Being a member of the EU never stopped us doing so

Have a Biscuit

This is such a thin and pathetic attempt to show us "oh look, it's not an absolutely cataclysmic disaster after all. We've pissed off the worlds largest trading block, but Bhutan want to buy our snooker cues and that's created 4 new jobs in Cirencester"

niceguy2 · 06/07/2016 15:24

People don't seem to understand that the EU doesn't prevent us from trading all over the world.

Exactly! Around 42% of our exports are to the EU so by definition the other 58% must be to countries outside the EU.

What the EU has stopped us doing is making our own trade deals. Which makes sense if you stop to think about it.

You join a club where the idea is that collectively you can strike a better bargain than if you go alone. That makes perfect sense really doesn't it?

After all if I organise a group of 30 people and say to a supplier "Hey...will you give us all a discount if we all shop with you?" then I stand a much better chance than if I went in on my own and asked for some money off.

Same here really.

fakenamefornow · 06/07/2016 15:28

I don't get this.

I meet business people every day through work, both small and large businesses, many are trading all over the world.
Have a look in the shops, you can buy stuff from all over the world.

bojorojo · 07/07/2016 13:40

You all seem to have missed the news that the UK does not have enough trade negotiators to do all these deals. This is because the EU negotiated for the deals not us. The article talks about trading with some poor countries. That will be a drop in the ocean. If no deals are put in place, we will revert to World Trade negotiations and tarifs. All the spin in the wolrd is not going to stop people leaving the UK, especially London, and already commercial property trusts have stopped trading due to a run on their reserves. The Bank of England is seriously worried. But it is OK, we can trade with Bhutan. Anyone speak the language? No, probably not. We don't speak other languages in this country. From all the debates on the education pages, languages are too difficult for the majority.

The £ is now $1.29. Its lowest for over 30 years. Good for exports but we are a net importer, so, prices will go up. Our imports are costing more and that includes food. It would appear that the Leavers who were more likely to be older have screwed it for everyone younger and themselves. If we are importing more expensive goods and not exporting enough, we have less money and fewer jobs because inflation may well return. Inflation causes the price of raw materials to go up, so our goods become too expensive and more difficult to sell because prices are too high when compared to those of similar goods made abroad. We already have comparatively high wages and business costs so find it difficult to compete with manufacturig in the far East. We know this from the steel fiasco. So why will other countries choose our goods? India, Mexico, and others in the article can trade more cheaply with other countries. They do at the moment and they will continue to do so. We have a huge uphill struggle to make any inroads at all. One of our main exporters, financial services, is already fighting to stay alive in London without mass redundancies. Add to that years of uncertainty. Hey ho! This article is head in the sand big time!

fakenamefornow · 07/07/2016 17:18

The world is laughing at us because of this.

Imagine -
People vote in ref for a measure that will seriously damage their economy.
Government says 'the people have spoken ' and carries out said actions knowing damage it will do.

HelpfulChap · 07/07/2016 17:21

Add Israel to that list.

fakenamefornow · 07/07/2016 17:24

It occurred to me as well, we're not self sufficient with food, much of it is imported from the EU. I think they've got us over a barrel.

concertplayer · 08/07/2016 10:32

We were up in the North East and the shops are already making plans for
closing down It really sucks

Valentine2 · 13/07/2016 11:05

We manufacture a LOT of grass. Want to export that? In the mean time, I say we focus on growing ALL of our food in this country first.

froubylou · 13/07/2016 11:16

I read somewhere that we can produce 90% of our own food as an island. I presume with some tweaks and modern farming technology we could be 100% self sufficient if necessary.

Also we need to export more. If you look at the Uk as a business we are buying in more stock than we sell. Maybe if that changed with greater exports we would get rid of the debt we have as a country.

And with regards to what we would export what dI'd we used to export? Textiles, steel, food, manufacturing. A fuck ton of stuff.

Maybe with the weaker £1 it will be an incentive for manufacturing to come back to the UK. Produce the raw materials here and then export. Rather than rely on the banking sector that crashed in 2008 and caused a recession.

Banking isnt producing anything. It's a giant house of cards that can come crashing down. It's like the Uk relying on Ladbrokes to keep the country going. A gamble which doesn't always pay off.

Blue4ever · 13/07/2016 11:38

We already trade with these countries. Op what's up your point?

Nothing ever stopped is from trading with any of the countries you mention. We don't have a free trade agreement with them, that is correct. I would be very surprised if this country manages to get a free trade agreement with any of them to be honest, it will be with 'prefectural rates'. Do you actually know what a free trade agreement is?

They take a very long time to negotiate for one thing. If you think about the North American Free Trade Agreement for example, negotiations started in 1986 and the treaty was signed in 1994. That is only part of the treaty, not the final version that they have in place now. That's between three countries. What on earth makes you think that the Uk can sign a free trade agreement with anyone within, say, 2 years? Chances are close to none.

And free trade agreement cost an absolute fortune to set up.

Blue4ever · 13/07/2016 11:39

Preferential rate, not prefectural rate (must proof read my posts...)

Blue4ever · 13/07/2016 11:43

How would our exports be competitive though? There is a very basic reason why our manufacturing has dropped down, it's because of costs associated with production. It is much cheaper to produce goods in countries where the cost of living is lower, energy is cheaper, and salaries are lower. Our products wouldn't be competitive, either for internal consumption and even less for export.

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