Britons furious as French expert mocks UK’s trading ‘nightmare’ – ‘We’ll manage, thanks!’
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Although the UK has used its newfound freedom to sign a raft of agreements, Dr Elvire Fabry claimed Britain will struggle to agree terms with new markets. Commenting on the Express.co.uk story, one reader boasted the UK’s future outside of the EU will flourish, despite Dr Fabry’s warning. They said: “We will manage very well thanks. I no longer buy anything from the EU.
“British first then anywhere other than the EU.”
Another said: “There are two types in this world those who sit on their hands and wait for something to happen and those who get to their feet and go out and make something happen.
“The EU being the former and the UK being the latter.
“I’ll take the latter any day of the week.”
A third said: “Lashing out because Switzerland has shown them the door.”
Although the UK signed the Trade and Cooperation Agreement in December, Dr Fabry, a specialist researcher at the Institut Jacques Delors in France, claimed deals with far off markets will prove to be difficult for the UK.
She said: “Compensating for the restricted access to the European market can’t be easily done with one or two partners.
“Even a deal with the US – and it remains to be seen how deep it would go – would only represent a fifth or a quarter of commercial volume with the EU.
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“They would need four or five equivalents of the US.
“It’s a real nightmare, when you have been used to the simplicity of the single market – to find case by case, many complications and exceptions.
“This will be part of the ‘second effect of Brexit’, which will accompany the end of the Covid restrictions, with the services markets starting up again, it’s a reality that will become a bit more tangible in the months to come.”
Despite her warnings, the UK has worked to increase its presence in South East Asia and has signalled its intent to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
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As well as a trade deal with Japan, the UK has also rolled over agreements from the EU with Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam.
Trade Secretary Liz Truss is also working to agree a deal with Australia which is expected to be secured in the near future.
Despite the fear of an influx of Australian products into the UK, Ms Truss has defended the deal and vowed to roll in a 15-year transition period for British farmers to adjust to the new changes.
She told MPs: “It will have benefits for all nations and regions of the UK and all industries including the agriculture industry.
“I’ve been very clear with them farmers that of course I’m always looking to make sure, as I have committed to, that British farmers will not be undercut by unfair practices from elsewhere.
“We will make sure in all the deals we do that British farming thrives and I’m absolutely confident that will be achieved through the Australia deal.”
Once a deal with Australia is agreed, it is hoped a separate agreement with New Zealand may also follow soon after.
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