WTO can­di­date says UK and EU can trade with­out a deal

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - Lizzy Bur­den By

TRADE be­tween the UK and Euro­pean Union would still flour­ish in the short term even with­out a Brexit deal, a can­di­date seek­ing to run the World Trade Or­gan­i­sa­tion has said.

The his­toric al­liance of Bri­tain and the bloc and their reg­u­la­tory ties should al­low goods and ser­vices to con­tinue flow­ing across borders, ac­cord­ing to Hamid Mam­douh, a for­mer WTO di­rec­tor of trade in ser­vices and in­vest­ment who is Egypt’s can­di­date to run the in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tion. The com­merce reg­u­la­tor’s 164 mem­bers have un­til July 8 to nom­i­nate a re­place­ment for Roberto Azevedo, who an­nounced his sur­prise res­ig­na­tion in May.

Speak­ing to broad­caster Econ Films’

pro­gramme, Mr Mam­douh

said: “The UK and the EU have been fol­low­ing the same reg­u­la­tory frame­work across sec­tors of the econ­omy and that pro­vides an ex­cep­tion­ally strong ba­sis for strong and close trade re­la­tions, even if they fall on WTO rules.

“There will still be the re­al­ity of busi­ness flour­ish­ing in a way that, of course, isn’t as strong as when the UK was a mem­ber state of the EU, but it’s the pas­sage of time with­out a bi­lat­eral agree­ment that will have an ef­fect.”

He said the strength of the UK’s ser­vice sec­tor would soften the blow of ad­just­ing to a new trad­ing re­la­tion­ship. It ac­counts for 80pc of Bri­tish GDP.

Mr Mam­douh said: “The UK is a huge player on the world stage of ser­vices – big sec­tors like fi­nan­cial ser­vices, telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, all this sort of mod­ern, tech­no­log­i­cally-en­abled ser­vices sec­tors, not to men­tion even some of the tra­di­tional ones like tourism and oth­ers.

“I per­haps don’t see that the UK would lose as much on the ser­vices side as it would on the mer­chan­dise side if we reach the end of the year and then fall back on WTO terms.”

‘They have fol­lowed same reg­u­la­tory frame­work, which gives a strong ba­sis for close trade re­la­tions’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.