“Pretty much all of the UK’s trade [with the world] would some­how have to be ne­go­ti­ated. […] It is very im­por­tant, par­tic­u­larly with re­gard to trade, which is some­thing very im­por­tant for the Bri­tish econ­omy, that peo­ple have the facts and they don’t unde

Finweek English Edition - - THE WEEK -

– Roberto Azevêdo, di­rec­tor-gen­eral of the World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WTO), warns in an in­ter­view with the Fi­nan­cial Times that an exit from the EU would cost Bri­tish con­sumers and busi­nesses bil­lions and force the UK to rene­go­ti­ate the terms of its WTO mem­ber­ship. This would af­fect thou­sands of tar­iff lines cov­er­ing the UK’s en­tire trade port­fo­lio, its quo­tas on agri­cul­tural prod­ucts, sub­si­dies to Bri­tish farm­ers, and mar­ket ac­cess for the UK’s banks and other ser­vices com­pa­nies, ft.com re­ported. It would also lose pref­er­en­tial mar­ket ac­cess to 58 coun­tries, cov­ered by 36 trade agree­ments it en­joys as part of the EU. The cost of ad­di­tional tar­iffs on the im­ports of goods is es­ti­mated at £9bn, while Bri­tish ex­ports would at­tract ad­di­tional du­ties of £5.5bn, ac­cord­ing to the WTO.

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