June 7, 2016 | Larry Elliott
Negotiations about the shape of the UK’s post-Brexit trade arrangements would have to start from scratch after a leave vote in the EU referendum
, the head of the World Trade Organisation said as he admitted there had been no preliminary discussions with the UK government.
Roberto Azevêdo, the WTO
director-general, said he expected any talks to be long and difficult, adding: “We haven’t had any discussions about the process. We don’t know what the process would be. We do know it would be a very unusual situation.”
Trade has featured heavily during the referendum campaign
, with much debate about whether a post-Brexit UK would seek to retain its membership of the European single market or aim for a looser arrangement in which exporters had the same access as other WTO members.
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