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No 'Cherry Picking,' as Britain's Told to Go Cold Turkey on Free Trade With EU

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Britain has been issued with another warning that it won't be able to "cherry-pick" certain industries if it wants to maintain free trade deals with the European Union.

A Nissan logo at a car dealership in Sunderland, Britain June 29, 2016. Picture taken June 29, 2016. - Sputnik International
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Sir Andrew Cahn, former chief executive of the Department for International Trade said the UK wouldn't be able just pick out certain industries, for example, car manufacturing, if it wanted to continue enjoying tariff-free trade in the customs union post Brexit.

In a similar sounding warning that the UK couldn't have its "cake and eat it," and cherry-pick its preferred industries over others, Sir Andrew said he doubted Britain would be allowed to keep sectors like car manufacturing in the customs union after leaving the European Union, if it pulled out of other sectors.

​Upholding membership of the customs union means adhering to "all the rules and regulation of Brussels," in the same way that Turkey does.

"What I think is more difficult to contemplate is the idea that you have cars inside but some sort of widgets outside. The idea is that cars, which we care about, aerospace, which we care about, financial services, which we care about it, wouldn't it be great if they were in the customs union? …But I don't think the EU side would be prepared to do it, why would they allow us to cherry-pick." 

A warning that Britain can't have its cake and eat it when it comes to its deal with the European Union once Article 50 is triggered is nothing new. Neither is the stream of food related analogies that continue to hamper minister's negotiations.

"I hear people talking about hard Brexit and soft Brexit as though it's a boiled egg we are talking about, it's a little more complex," Lord Andrew said.

It's reported that Liam Fox, Britain's trade secretary, is hoping to cut a similar deal as Turkey's arrangement with the EU as it doesn't involve the free movement of people — but does involve remaining in the customs union for certain things.

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