Posted on Apr 24, 2020
Despite the British Government's assurances that does not intend to extend its transition period with the European Union beyond December 31st 2020, at which point it will be free to sign its own free trade deals, talks over a much vaunted UK-USA Free Trade Agreement remain suspended.
A recent Freedom of Information Request by Get Britain Out revealed that since the UK left the EU, Ministers from the Department for International Trade have spoken to their counterparts in the USA just six times, and that official trade talks have not even begun yet.
As the UK-EU trade negotiations have continued via videoconferencing, why can’t the UK-USA negotiations, and other trade negotiations around the world, follow suit? The recent lack of progress and transparency from the Department of International Trade is seriously alarming and must be addressed. This Department is meant to be setting out our future trading relationships around the world, but we are being told nothing!
A Mutual Recognition Agreement between the two which was signed in Washington on February 14th 2019, and which can take effect from January 1st 2021 assuming both signatories still want it, sets out "to provide effective market access between the United States and the United Kingdom with regard to conformity assessment for all products covered under this Agreement".
However, there are concerns that this augurs ill for the UK in that it may prove to be an asymmetrical agreement, with the U.S. calling all the shots.
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