Brexit POLL: As EU trade talks stall, should the UK walk away on WTO terms?

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The UK formally left the European Union back in January and since then trade negotiations have been extended to the end of October due to the outbreak of COVID-19. But talks continue to stumble on key red lines on both sides.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been adamant he will not seek any extension to the current transition period, which ends in December, with or without a deal in place.

If a deal is not agreed by the end of the transition period, trade with the EU will automatically fall back on basic World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.

Now, is asking, “As EU trade talks stall, should the UK walk away on WTO terms?”

The WTO terms allow counties to negotiate rules of International trade and if they do not have free trade agreements with each other, they trade under the WTO rules.

All 164 WTO members have a list of tariffs and quotas they can apply to other countries when a deal is not in place.

Under these rules, cars would be taxed at around 10 percent when they crossed the UK-EU border after the transition period is over.

Agricultural tariffs would rise to an average of more than 35 percent for dairy products.

Steep levies could be imposed on goods if a free-trade agreement is not agreed.

Issues around a no deal Brexit agreement were raised by Simon Fraser, the former Permanent Secretary of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Writing on Twitter, Mr Fraser previously said: “If there is a deal the scope will be narrow; aiming for tariff-free and quota-free trade in goods.

“Little on services, never mind non-trade issues. A hard version of Brexit.

“UK insists a deal must not limit ‘sovereignty’ or leave jurisdiction with the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

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“It has proposed a series of deals built around a free trade agreement that would involve widespread removal of traditional trade barriers, but far short of the promised ‘frictionless trade’.”

Back in June, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier insisted European leaders would not have to revisit his negotiating mandate as long as David Frost, the Prime Minister’s chief trade negotiator with the EU, made “concrete signals” that the UK is willing to meet the bloc in the middle ground.

“I’m ready to compromise,” he told a European trade union leaders conference in Brussels.

However, latest talks have failed to result in an agreed new trade deal between the UK and EU with many speculating a no deal Brexit is more of a possibility.

Queen Mary’s School of Business and Management professor, Liam Campling, told “The EU’s position is that there needs to be some degree of give and take on both sides.

“I think the EU has recognised that and the UK is increasingly recognising that. But I think the EU will be scared of a no deal Brexit.

“This is because of the economic and financial impacts.

“However, I don’t believe they will bend over on all other areas in order to allow the UK’s various demands to come through.

“I think the EU is worried about it but I think the UK is going to be more worried about it.”

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