Proposal for a more inclusive trade governance model announced
London 18th July 2018
By Chris Southworth, ICC United Kingdom Secretary General
There is much to be welcomed from Liam Fox’s speech today. The move to a more inclusive, transparent and democratic style of policy engagement is very welcome and a positive recognition that trade policy must now work for everyone – businesses, unions, NGOs and consumers across the UK. Advocating a role for the UK as a global free trade champion will also be popular in the G20, World Trade Organization, OECD, Commonwealth, UN and World Bank where there are growing concerns about rising barriers to trade from protectionism and nationalism.
However, there were some notable gaps in the International Trade Secretary’s speech. Including whether or not the 60 plus countries who have trade deals with the EU – including Japan, Canada and Korea – will roll over the same trade terms with the UK as it leaves the EU. Trade terms with this group of countries will dictate the UK relationship with the global trade community outside the EU. The more certainty there is around these relationships, the easier it will be for companies to plan for life post Brexit.