"When it comes to the free trade agreement that she has talked about, basically there is some inconsistency there in the sense that we do want to have access to Europe and free trade with Europe, but we don't want to have the customs union agreement. We want to have our own external tariffs with the rest of the world. That seems like 'half in, half out' to me. And I am not sure at all that Europe will buy that," he said. "It's almost like a hidden trade war with Europe."
On June 23, 2016 the UK held a nationwide referendum, with the majority of voters opting to leave the European Union.
"The whole logic of having the common external tariff is that we agree how we trade with the rest of the world. So you can't really be in, trading freely with us, and then going and striking deals with the rest of the world," the analyst explained. "I just can't believe that Europe will buy that. And, yes, maybe we want that, but we are not likely to get it."
"There is a bit more clarity now as to Britain's intentions. But I would like to underline intentions there. Intentions is what Britain wants, but the question marks still remains what Britain will get out of the negotiating process," he said.
Professor Demetriades further said that May has done "a good job" in terms of putting a "very good spin" on Brexit since she appeared to be in favor of free trade, but in fact sounded protectionist.
May gave "a trade war type of speech," he added, saying that what she meant was that the UK "will do what's best" for the country. "What if the others retaliate and do what's best for them? And then you retaliate again and do what's best for you. That's a trade war basically, right?" he observed.
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