Posted on Feb 03, 2019
The director of international agreements at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Sarah Taylor, has said that in the event of a No Deal Brexit, UK exporters could be subject to higher tariff rates and non-trade barriers to non-EU countries including Egypt, Morocco and Ukraine.
Speaking to the Commons International Trade select committee Taylor also said that a number of EU free trade agreements can be transferred into UK law, but added, “I don’t have absolute confidence that every single agreement will be in place.”
Elsewhere, the UK and Chile signed a trade continuity agreement this week, with International Trade Secretary Liam Fox commenting, “This will ensure there is no disruption to British business exporting to Chile after we leave the EU and will mean consumers continue to benefit from low prices and more choice on supermarket shelves.”
This comes as Fox called for the UK to “remember that there is a world beyond Europe and there will be a time beyond Brexit.”
UK Prime Minister Theresa May is reportedly preparing to offer a group of around 25 Labour MPs in Leave-voting seats extra funding for their constituencies in support for backing her Brexit deal.
“There’s a willingness to look again at coalfield communities and make good the promises that former Labour governments failed to deliver,” a government source was quoted as saying.
“It’s about allowing Labour MPs representing Brexit communities to show that they have extracted something tangible in return for their vote. And, frankly, it’s not an unreasonable ask.”
John Mann, the Labour MP for Bassetlaw, has publicly welcomed the suggestion, urging the Government to “show us the money” and calling for “a fund of sufficient size to transform our communities.” Mann, who voted for the Brexit deal, added, “This is not transactional… I am already voting for Brexit.”
However, other Labour MPs have expressed disapproval over the offer. One Labour MP said, “It would be pointless for the Government to try to throw money at former coalfield areas while taking the economy down a low-skilled, low-paid route that would destroy those areas.”
The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said, “Clearly, there has to be investment in those communities, but the Brexit plan proposed by Theresa May doesn’t solve that.”
Separately, there have been calls for the Labour Party to sanction MPs and junior ministers who rebelled on Brexit amendments in Tuesday’s votes. Corbyn said he was “very disappointed” and would be speaking to the MPs in question.
A total of 25 Labour MPs broke the whip on Tuesday night – 14 voting with the Government, and 11 abstaining. They included 8 shadow ministers.
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