A new red line was set for U.K> Prime Minister Theresa May and the negotiations with the European Union as well as within her own party by British Trade Secretary Liam Fox after he said after Britain leaves the EU, the country needs to mandatorily get into a new customs union with the block.
The EU’s common external tariff that imposes the same rates on all of the EU member states must not be signed up by U.K., said Fox during a television interview. He is a well-known and well advocated euroskeptic. There has bene recent media report that the U.K. government is contemplating retaining Britain in a new customs union and the agreement for external tariff.
“It is very difficult to see how being in a customs union is compatible with having an independent trade policy because we would therefore be dependent on what the EU negotiated in terms of its trading policies and we’d be following behind that,” Fox said on Friday. “One of the reasons we are leaving the European Union is to take control, and that’s not possible with a common external tariff.”
May is on a visit to China with the aim of building relationships with countries for global trade before the country formally leaves the EU in March 2019. China has become the focus of May who is attempting to forge a partnership with the country that is the largest trading nation of the world. the aim is to develop a potential free trade agreement in the future.
A potentially volatile intercession in the political debate in the U.K. is represented by Fox’s comments. There is pressure n May to break up ties with the EU single market and customs union by euroskeptic lawmakers in her Conservative party. The U.K. is not allowed to get into any form of free trade agreement with any country as long as it is a member of the EU’s customs union.
For influential lawmaker Jacob Rees-Mogg, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Fox, a key aim of Brexit supports is getting the freedom to set their own trade policies. The final trade deal the U.K. would want to have with the EU is still being prepared by May and her ministers. But the degree of closeness that the U.K. would want to maintain with the EU rules is still to be decided by them.
There is also pressure on May in Britain to perform better with respect to the Brexit negotiations and exhibit a larger vision for the government or relinquish her post. May’s “middle name” is “resilience”, said Fix in the interview in an attempt to defend May’s character and leadership.
“There will always be an element that will be not reconciled the democratic wish of the British people,” Fox said, comparing the analysis to the pre-referendum warnings of remain campaigners. “We’ve been given an instruction. I think it’s now our duty to carry that out to the best of our ability”, Fox said while reacting to a question on a leaked but incomplete analysis of the Brexit impact being prepared by the U.K. government.
(Adapted from Bloomberg.com)