Worldwide: No Deal Brexit Could Mean Less Leverage Power In Forging A UK/US Trade Deal

Last Updated: August 12 2019
Article by Bernardine Adkins

Bernardine Adkins was interviewed on Channel 4 News about the realities of a UK/US trade deal, in light of Dominic Rabb's current visit to forge ties.

Siobhan Kennedy: In the control tower at the Port of Dover, Michael Gove trying to show the government's in control of no deal preparations. The Port handles 10,000 trucks a day, every single one of them headed to the EU but from food, to pharmaceuticals and everything else in between, industry is worried we're not ready for no deal despite Mr Gove's optimism.

Michael Gove: The number one priority of everyone, not just in Dover and in Kent but across the UK is to make sure that we leave and we leave in a way which ensures that goods and people can continue to flow as freely as possible and I'm here, along with the Transport Secretary and the Home Secretary, in order to ensure that in the days that remain, government does everything it needs. We're spending millions of pounds in order to ensure that Kent and the rest of the country are ready for no deal and I'm confident that with the hard work of people here in Dover and elsewhere, we will be ready to leave.

Siobhan Kennedy: It's no wonder the Minister for no deal preparations wants to be seen in Dover, if the UK does crash out of the EU with no deal then the pain will likely show up there first and while the government has said it will, effectively, wave through in-coming trucks from the EU, out-going freight travelling to the continent is a different matter altogether. Dover's bigger custom agent has told this programme there simply are not enough staff to cope with the mounds of additional paperwork departing trucks will need and nor is it clear who will stand behind the billions of pounds' worth of financial guarantees that all goods departing from the UK, travelling to the continent, will need under a no deal scenario.

The guarantees are insurance that taxes for British goods entering the EU will be paid, not needed now of course because we're in the EU, but the boss of the customs agent at Dover told us the government's insistence that industry provide those guarantees was far from acceptable and it's the government who should underwrite the entire industry. He also said that the £8 million from ministers to train new customs agents in the event of no deal was wholly inadequate.

Siobhan Kennedy: The fear is that if none of that happens then this will, miles of queues outside Dover, but the government says it's doing everything it can to help businesses get ready, including £2.1 billion last week, specifically earmarked for no deal.

Across another larger stretch of water, the Foreign Secretary, buoyed by a meeting overnight with President Trump, held a press conference with the US Secretary of State and there was one thing on his mind.

Dominic Raab: Of course, America's our single largest bilateral trading partner and President Trump has made clear again that he wants an ambitious free trade agreement with the UK, so I hope we can make that happen as soon as possible after we leave the EU on the 31st October.

Mike Pompeo: And we'll be on the doorstep, pen in hand, ready to sign a new free trade agreement at the earliest possible time.

Siobhan Kennedy: So, they want a trade deal too but just watch out for the terms, chlorinated chicken, access to the NHS, everything will be on the table and some say it could be hard to say 'no'.

Bernadine Adkins: There's a huge disparity in bargaining power, we are much more needy of a deal with them but, also, if we are in a situation of a no deal, we've lost our leverage.

Siobhan Kennedy: But a trade deal with the US is still hypothetical, one thing that looks much more real is no deal with the EU.

Read the original article on GowlingWLG.com

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