Some 20 countries, including the United States and China, are reportedly trying to prevent Britain from agreeing a fast-track deal with the World Trade Organization (WTO) on its post-Brexit terms of trade, The Independent wrote.
Britain’s International Trade Secretary Liam Fox admitted that several WTO members had “reservations” about London’s desire to enjoy terms similar to what it has as a member of the European Union.
The negotiations will not be easy as countries around the world would either loose or gain depending on how EU quotas are split between member states once Britain leaves the bloc.
A country’s export quota is often determined by another country and normally applies to specific products as well as being applied to protect domestic production against foreign competition.
After Brexit, EU countries will have to work out the share of EU quotas that will then be assigned to the United Kingdom.
The head of the House of Commons international trade committee, Angus Brendan MacNeil, said on Friday that the government’s plans to fast-track the terms of the country’s WTO membership were in “tatters.”
“When he gave evidence to my committee in July, Dr. Fox assured me that this was all going fine. But his plan is now in tatters after the UK’s proposed WTO goods schedules faced formal objections from some 20 countries, including the US, China, Australia and New Zealand,” MacNeil said.
In July, Britain and the European Union formally filed for divorce at the World Trade Organization, following many months of diplomatic preparations to smooth the way for the historic move.
Until now Britain has been represented at the WTO by the EU and its membership rights were not set out distinctly, even though Britain was always a WTO member in its own right.
London’s June 2016 decision to leave the EU meant disentangling the bloc’s trade rules to allow Britain to act independently.