Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Fun with free trade deals

From the Australian Financial Review:

Australia's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Alexander Downer, says Britain's departure from the European Union will not hurt free trade negotiations with the bloc and suggested Brexit could be an opportunity to ease restrictions on Australians working in the UK...

"No this will definitely not kill any chance of us negotiating a FTA with the European Union. I think we can negotiate a high quality Free Trade Agreement with the European Union. Obviously, the UK is our closest partner in the European Union but we do have very close relationships with other countries - France, Germany, Italy and obviously Ireland as well."

From The Times (via MBK):

Mr Johnson wrote in The Daily Telegraph that he wanted “access” to the single market, but also said he wanted Britons to be able to work and stay in the EU, along with a points-based system for new arrivals from the EU.

This approach is unlikely to be agreed by the rest of the EU, according to officials and experts. They added: “It is a pipe dream. You cannot have full access to the single market and not accept its rules. If we gave that kind of deal to the UK, then why not to Australia or New Zealand. It would be a free for all.”

Now a lot of this is Doublespeak (which takes somebody with JohnB's mental gymnastic ability to decipher), but most countries have "access to the single market" without having any sort of explicit free trade deal (USA, China etc). But let's assume that in the second excerpt the Eurocrat uses this as synonymous with "tariff and quota-free access to the single market" (what the UK has at present, by and large). He implies that free movement of people and adopting EU regulations are pre-conditions and/or follow automatically from this.

Which will be news to the Aussies and Kiwis. Or is it genuinely expected that ANZ will be able to negotiate FTAs which are refused to the UK out of spite?


Dinero said...

looking at the EUs many pre existing trade agreements with non EU countries, that would not automatically be a pre condition on the Aussies and Kiwis.

Bayard said...

Looks like Bremainer "make the situation look worse than it is" propaganda. I suspect that what the Eurocrat is referring to by the "single market" is EFTA, or whatever it is that Norway and Switzerland are part of.

Antisthenes said...

As I understand it Lichtenstein has a point system for the free movement of labour withing the common market. If so there is a precedent and so could equally apply to the UK. I may be wrong but if I am right why is nobody pointing that fact out?

Dinero said...

Those are arrangements with Norway and Switzerland , there is also trade agreements with South Africa , Korea, Central America, Egypt , Mexico, etc. it seems that with the The Channel islands as an exception those conditions apply more the closer to Brussels the country is.

oh , and as Antithesis notes Lichtenstein

Mark Wadsworth said...

Liechtenstein, but point taken.

Bayard said...

If we have trade and other deals with Ireland which pre-exist our membership of the EEC, are separate to the EU and are still in place, doesn't that give us a back door into the EU after we have left?