As we head towards the end of the transition period with the EU, Britain has been reaching out to nations all over the world to lay the groundwork for free trade deals.
Liz Truss, UK Secretary of State for International Trade, held a virtual economic meeting on the 26th August where economic ministers and officials from ten ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member states, as well as ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi, met to discuss the future joint vision on trade and services.
The gathering was deemed a positive success where the terms “solidarity and collaboration” were used. There was a distinct determination from all sides to bring closer ties between the UK and ASEAN. The two sides said they wanted to “sustain and deepen the close economic ties between ASEAN and the UK”.
With the world economies having been effected by COVID-19, the UK and ASEAN member states said they are “committed to working together” to “mitigate the economic impact of COVID- 19”.
The UK welcomes the longstanding economic relationship between ASEAN and the UK.
The relationship between the UK and ASEAN has been in place for over 50 years and is said to be worth £42bn in bilateral trade in goods and services. As we leave the EU in its entirety, there’s a determination between the two sides to massively increase trade in goods and services, meaning a much “deeper and broader” future ahead of us.
This shows that post-Brexit, without the meddling of the EU, Britain can lead the way, forging new relationships on trade between nations from all over the world. This vision for a Free trading Britain goes against the EU’s concept of a level playing field, which would make Britains trade deals subservient to the stamp of approval from the EU.
For an EU – UK trade deal to be completed before the end of the year, the EU trade negotiator, Michel Barnier has set conditions, saying for a trade deal to be finalised, there has to be an agreement on a level playing field and fisheries.
The UK negotiator, David Frost, has stated numerous times that the UK won’t entertain anything that goes against its sovereignty as it leaves the bloc. Both sides have said, as it stands, no deal is the most probable outcome of these negotiations.