Done UK no favours! Boris and Truss told tactics not playing out well on global stage

UK post-Brexit trade deals are 'minor' says Bradshaw

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The Government’s approach is preventing it from capitalising on post-Brexit trade opportunities, such as a trade deal with the United States according to a Professor of Economics at the University of Sussex. Speaking to Express.co.uk., Professor Michael Gasiorek, a specialist in international trade, said that the UK hasn’t “done itself any favours on the international stage” since Brexit.

Prof Gasiorek said: “We are a smaller player on the world stage than we were before.

“That does not mean that countries don’t want to do deals with the UK but it does mean that the UK has a diminished influence into that economic environment.

“I don’t think the current government has done itself any favours on the international stage in terms of the way it behaves.”

Speaking about the issues in Northern Ireland he said: “They do need resolving, and the UK is I think being fairly inflexible in the way it wants to resolve those.

“And that’s not playing out well on the international stage, in particular with the United States.”

Prof Gasiorek added: “At the early stages, before Biden came into power, certainly the Johnson Government and Liz Truss were touting a US-UK free trade agreement as being top priority.

“But that’s shifted very very low down the agenda, not on the UK’s side but because America has made it quite clear that they’re not interested at this point.”

In her role as Foreign Secretary – and previously Secretary of State for International Trade – Liz Truss has played a pivotal role in the UK’s trade deal negotiations.

She has since been thrust into negotiations with the EU after taking on Lord Frost’s responsibilities, following his resignation from his role as Brexit Minister last week.

The Northern Ireland Protocol was agreed as part of the withdrawal agreement to avoid a hard border in Ireland after the UK left the EU.

But because Northern Ireland remained within the EU’s single market for goods, a border was effectively created between Great Britain and Northern Ireland down the Irish Sea.

The Protocol has come under fire because of border checks on goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which have resulted in delays and supermarket shortages.

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But even though the likelihood of a trade deal with the United States is, in his opinion, unlikely, he said the UK should still be striving for cooperation.

He said: “Currently I think there is no immediate prospect of a free trade deal in the next few years with America.

“And that’s because America is focused elsewhere.

“That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t cooperate with America, for example on the issue of steel tariffs, or for example with regard to climate exchange.

“So it could try and resolve that, but I believe our Secretary of State for Trade approached this issue by threatening the Americans.”

This came after International Trade Secretary Anne Marie Trevelyan travelled to Washington in December to urge her counterparts to lift US tariffs on steel and aluminium that former President Donald Trump imposed in 2018.

The International Trade Secretary threatened the US with retaliatory tariffs on US goods, saying: “We have been clear all along that resolving this dispute is the right thing to do.

“It will benefit workers and businesses on both sides of the Atlantic, and would remove the need for the U.K. to levy retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods.”

However, just last week, the UK signed a free trade agreement with Australia, which the government estimates would unlock £10.4bn of additional trade.

A spokesperson for the Department for International Trade said: “We have already secured over £760 billion worth of trade deals with 70 countries plus the EU and 2022 will be a five-star year for UK trade as we launch new negotiations with India, Mexico, Canada and the Gulf, as well as securing CPTPP accession.

“We are strengthening our trade and investment ties with the US and have made good progress by ending the ban on British lamb, drawing a line under the Boeing-Airbus tariffs dispute, and co-operating even closer on vital areas such as technology.”

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