Fox should break his si­lence on the lambs

Sunday Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - News - nigel.nelson@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

IN­TER­NA­TIONAL Trade Sec­re­tary Liam Fox and his min­is­ters have vis­ited only five of the 65 coun­tries with which Bri­tain has trade deals through the EU.

This is wor­ry­ing now the Gov­ern­ment is scep­ti­cal a deal can be done with EU part­ners – and is mak­ing plans to crash out of Europe in March, 2019.

Fox and his hounds have so far only been to Colom­bia, Mex­ico, South Korea, Switzer­land and Turkey, ac­cord­ing to pres­sure group Open Bri­tain.

Yet the 65 coun­tries rep­re­sent ex­port trade worth £72bil­lion to Bri­tain, and we need it to con­tinue.

Labour’s Mary Creagh said: “Given Liam Fox can’t ne­go­ti­ate new trade deals un­til af­ter Brexit, he should be tour­ing the world en­sur­ing the ones we have re­main in place.”

DE­TER­MINED

A no-deal Brexit means ac­com­mo­dat­ing 5,000 more cus­toms of­fi­cers at our ports and new staff to check EU live­stock and farm prod­ucts.

Brexit Sec­re­tary David Davis warned: “There is a de­ter­mined ex­er­cise un­der way in White­hall de­voted to con­tin­gency ar­range­ments.”

If there is no deal, Bri­tain will re­vert to World Trade Or­gan­i­sa­tion rules. The WTO po­lices 95 per cent of global trade by us­ing tar­iffs and quo­tas to stop one coun­try un­der­cut­ting an­other. It will treat the re­main­ing 27 EU states as a sin­gle coun­try, and the UK will be given quo­tas and tar­iffs to trade with it.

That could mean con­flict with the likes of China, In­dia and Aus­tralia with whom we want to trade – be­cause we’d be pinch­ing some of their quo­tas.

New Zealand sells 230,000 tons of lamb to the EU tax-free, and any more at­tracts tar­iffs of 57 per cent.

If Bri­tain wants to sell tar­iff-free lamb we’ll want some of New Zealand’s quota. Which would have their sheep farm­ers bleat­ing that the UK needs roast­ing.

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