Brian Hayes MEP

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Future EU-UK trade cannot follow prolonged EU talks template – Hayes

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Future EU-UK trade cannot follow prolonged EU talks template – Hayes

EU-Canada trade proposal, started in 2008, published today

Brian Hayes MEP has highlighted the EU-Canada trade deal timeline, started in October 2008, and its implications for post Brexit EU-UK trade deal. Today (Tuesday) the EU Commission is bringing forward its proposal for the EU-Canada trade deal (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement – CETA). The MEP for Dublin said the existing template for EU trade negotiations is not fit for purpose and that swift progress on a future EU-UK trade deal is vital to Ireland’s economic interests.

Eu Canada

“Today (5th July) the EU Commission is bringing forward its proposal for an EU-Canada trade deal. In the context of Brexit, it’s important to remember this process started 8 years ago. The EU-Canada trade deal (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement – CETA) is the biggest trade deal ever conducted by the EU, but would pale in significance to a future EU-UK deal.

“The focus on the UK triggering Article 50 and the two year time-frame is a distraction. The legal ‘scrubbing’ of CETA alone took nearly 2 years. This was after agreement on all issues was reached. Given the volume of trade over the Irish Sea and the English Channel an EU-UK deal would be considerably more complex.

“We must remember that there are two negotiations. The first is the negotiations around the UK leaving the EU, the second is about the future relationship of the UK with the remaining 27 member of the EU, including Ireland.

EU – Canada Trade Agreement (CETA) timeline:

October 2008                    Joint study on EU-Canada trade
May 2009                           Negotiations began
October 2013                     Agreement in principle signed
August 2014                       Negotiations concluded
September 2014                Text published
February 2016                   End of the legal review
July 2016                             European Commission publish proposal to conclude agreement

“With the UK currently party to existing EU trade standards and laws, we must build on the existing consensus quickly. 40 years of UK engagement with the Common Market will not be thrown out overnight, but the Chancellor’s comments about UK corporate tax rates are a sign that Britain is moving toward the exit door.

“A drawn out 7 year trade negotiation would bring uncertainty to the UK, with consequences for the Irish economy. Whatever about triggering Article 50, the bigger issue is preparing a swift path to a future EU-UK trade agreement. Avoiding a prolonged EU-UK trade negotiation is vital to Ireland’s economic interest. The EU-Canada negotiation timeline is a clear sign that the EU’s current negotiations template is not fit for purpose.”


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