Fox should break his silence on the lambs
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.”
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.