Brexit Briefings 2 – Free Trade

Clegg – free trade deal with the EU isn’t possible in two years

The second paper in Nick Clegg’s series of Brexit Briefings, examines what Brexit means for Britain’s trading relationships, and in particular the complications of agreeing a new trade deal with the EU.

You can read the full paper, here.

The paper was drafted with help of independent experts and is co-authored by Peter Sutherland, the founding Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.

The aim is to provide factual guides rather than campaigning information. The facts do rather support the idea, however, that the government has little idea what Brexit means.

The paper reaches a number of conclusions, including:

  • That a free trade deal with the European Union will be impossible to agree within two years
  • That, therefore, an interim deal will need to be agreed to avoid a dangerous and extended period of uncertainty for British companies
  • And that a new trade deal will result in significantly more red tape for British companies exporting to the EU as British exporters will also have to comply with complex ‘rules of origin’ which require UK exporters to obtain proof of origin certificates from their national customs authorities and are estimated to increase trade cost by between four and 15 per cent

Over the coming months Nick will be working with a range of experts, to set out the difficult questions the Government has to answer in a host of areas that will be affected by Brexit.

He will publish a series of papers detailing the challenges and dilemmas facing the UK in a wide range of areas, not only on our trading relationship with the EU but also freedom of movement, policing and anti-terror co-operation, agriculture, university research funding, environmental standards and many other areas.

The full text of the second Brexit Briefing paper can be read here.

Judith Bunting’s article about Brexit Concerns for West Berkshire can be read here. 


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