EU has made trade deal with Australia ‘difficult’ says economist
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Brussels continues to botch its own trade deal talks with countries around the world, according to a leading trade expert. Catherine McBride, fellow at the Centre for Brexit Policy, told TRT’s Roundtable that the EU appears to “have done everything in its power to make trade deals difficult”. This was contrasted with Britain, which continues to race ahead with its own post-Brexit agreements.
Ms McBride responded to claims that customs checks in Northern Ireland are due to the lack of a deal around animal and health standards, as Brussels continues to try and pressure the UK to sign up to European rules.
She explained: “If we did sign up to the EU’s SPS rules that wouldn’t give us entry to a US trade deal.
“Because the US doesn’t have a trade deal with the EU either and a lot of that is to do with the EU’s SPS rules as well as the EU’s other agricultural rules.
“The idea that the British are somehow not embracing the world of free trade and the EU is is kind of a joke.”
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The economist continued: “The EU is a customs union, it’s all about protecting its own businesses from international trade.
“The EU has not offered the UK any kind of financial services equivalence and they are desperately trying to get that business for themselves.
“Australia had no trouble signing up to a trade deal with the UK, they in fact gave the UK better terms than the UK gave them.
“Australia doesn’t have a trade deal with the EU because the EU has done everything in its power to make that difficult.
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“They have been negotiating for years and they have got nowhere.
“So I can’t agree with the idea that EU is all welcoming and it’s all the UK’s fault.”
Earlier today, Australian political commentator Jake Thrupp told the Sunday Express that the UK-Australia trade deal signed in June “shows, to the doubters, that life after Brexit does exist”.
The Australian trade deal means iconic British products like cars, Scotch whisky, biscuits and ceramics will be cheaper to sell into Australia.
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The UK-Australia trade relationship was worth £13.9 billion last year and is set to grow under the deal.
Last week, trade minister Liz Truss also confirmed that Britain is nearing an agreement in principle on a free trade deal with New Zealand.
Meanwhile, the EU has struggled to strike its own trade deals with Australia.
Last month, the Morrison government has renewed fears that the European Union’s new carbon tariffs could wreak ongoing trade talks between the two.
Talks on a trade deal between the EU and Australia have been ongoing for years.
There is a concern in Australia that the EU’s new ‘carbon border adjustment scheme’ could hit Australian jobs.
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