Russia’s trade intervention is just the start of Liam Fox’s problems
Liam Fox was finally able to announce the start of a set of trade negotiations yesterday, but they were of a kind he had probably hoped to avoid. The issue is this: as the UK leaves the EU, it must go through a process of certifying its own schedule of goods and services at the World Trade Organization. This schedule is essentially a set of rights and obligations the UK must follow regarding other WTO members. The UK has been part of the EU’s schedule, but now, following Brexit, must set its own independent one.
The UK had hoped this would be an uncontroversial technical exercise, and for the most part it has been. This is because the UK intends to replicate as far as possible the EU’s schedule of commitments and concessions, including on tariffs. Where this has become problematic, as expected and even seemingly anticipated by the UK, is on splitting the EU’s current share of tariff rate quotas (TRQs).Read more here.