A fast-tracked post-Brexit WTO deal now looking unlikely

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An attempt by the Government to fast-track a deal with the World Trade Organization (WTO) to create smooth trade following Brexit, has not been particularly well received. Anna Tobin reports

In a statement to the House of Commons,  Dr. Liam Fox, Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade revealed that not all members of the WTO were happy with the Government’s proposals. He said: “I am pleased to announce to the House that following the circulation of our goods schedule at the World Trade Organisation in Geneva, the period for certification has ended. As expected, some trading partners have expressed reservations about our proposed treatment of tariff rate quotas (TRQs). I am therefore announcing today that the UK intends to enter negotiations with relevant partners under article XXVIII of the general agreement on tariffs and trade. The notification to formally invite claims in that process is now being prepared. Through the article XXVIII process, the aim is to reach a mutually satisfactory conclusion that maintains the balance of rights and obligations for the UK and our trading partners.”

Reportedly there are twenty countries who are not prepared to accept the UK’s proposals and the USA, Russia and China are amongst these, so any chance of a fast-track deal with the WTO is not looking hopeful.

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