Britain may never get a workable trade deal with the EU following Brexit simply because Brussels has proved itself incapable over 30 years of striking such a deal with any major economy outside its own borders.
The warning comes from MEP for South East England, Janice Atkinson with Prime Minister Theresa May set to tell Parliament that “the ball is in the EU court” to negotiate a new and special partnership between it and a sovereign UK.
With the fifth round of Brexit negotiations also due to begin in Brussels today with the EU still seeming unwilling to move beyond discussion of how much the UK should pay to leave the EU, Janice says it is time to tell Brussels we will leave without a deal and begin negotiating with the 40 countries around the globe who want free trade deals with the UK.
“It is a fact that Brussels has never succeeded in negotiating a free trade deal with any other major economy in the world. This inability to see beyond a protectionist mentality is one of the main reasons for the sclerotic performance of so many EU economies.
“The EU and the USA were talking for three decades about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and yet they didn’t manage successfully to conclude negotiations on a single clause. Likewise, they have been talking for years with Canada about a free trade deal and yet that remains far from ratification.
“One problem is that the EU has to consult with civil society, trade unions, regional parliaments, the EU 27 and MEPs and take into account the impossibly diverse nature of the political representation from the alt-left, communists, marxists, Greens and socialists and other parties. It is axiomatic that there will never be agreement between this range of parties and views..
“Add to that the fact that the current Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmstrom, is a former sociology lecturer who has never had a proper job and does not truly begin to understand the concept of real free trade.
“Meanwhile Michel Barnier maintains that we cannot start to negotiate a free trade deal until the UK has officially left the EU.
“So given that plus the EU’s proven track record of failure at free trade, what are we waiting for? Let’s leave the EU now and strike deals with the 40 countries that have said they want a deal with the UK.
“That will put the EU under real pressure from national leaders and captains of industry in Europe – who know trade with the UK is vital to their economies – to focus on trade with post-Brexit UK rather than playing delaying games with marginal issues.
“While Barnier and his team fiddle, we should be ending the tedious agony of these fake negotiations and get out now into the world and make Britain great again.”
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